The official Instagram account of General Motors Design published a few sketches of the all-new GMC Sierra EV, but one of them looked suspiciously similar to a Rivian R1T photo. A closer look reveals that the designer did not only borrow the realistic background from the photo, but actually used the rival pickup as a base for his GMC-branded sketch.
The embarrassing mistake was caught by many Instagram users, including one of our readers who grabbed a screenshot before the rendering was removed from the photo set, after GM realized the blunder.
Read: Ford Designer Mocks GMC For ‘Borrowing’ The Design Of The Sierra EV’s Infotainment System
The sketch in question was created by Thomas Bergeron who works as a Director of Design at GM’s design studio in South Korea. The photo was flipped and the color temperature was tweaked a bit, but those changes were not enough to hide its origins.
As you can see from the direct comparison, the upper part of the rear windscreen, the roof, the wheels, the fenders, and most of the profile are directly sourced from the Rivian R1T. Only the vertically-mounted LED taillights, the taller tailgate, and the slimmer rear bumper were redesigned to resemble the GMC Sierra EV, although the latter still borrows styling cues from the Rivian. Zooming in on the rendering reveals visible cut-and-paste lines from Photoshop, showing that this was more of a rough sketch and less of a polished material destined to be used for promotional purposes.
We should make it clear that the production version of the GMC Sierra EV doesn’t resemble the Rivian R1T nor was it designed off of this sketch. It is also common practice among designers to start their sketches and renderings using the proportions from a photo as a reference. While this is totally fine behind the closed doors of design studios, automakers must make sure that all of the material used is free of references to their rivals.
Hat tip to our reader who wishes to remain anonymous