They’re the engineers who have come to be known as the “Malibu Moms.” The team consists of a crash expert, an organic gardener with specially trained hearing skills, a blue-haired, roller derby jammer and master of aerodynamics, and a Harvard master’s degree candidate with a patent for lighting technology. And while they all seem like vastly different personalities with equally diverse areas of expertise, these four engineers all share the common bond of motherhood that has earned them their nickname.
The link between being both moms and engineers is an important one for this team consisting of Julie Kleinert, Kara Gordon, Suzanne Cody and Tracy Mack-Askew. Their unique insights as moms have helped drive the engineering of key components on the 2013 Malibu.
“People spend a lot of time in their vehicles,” said Gordon, the lead acoustic noise engineer of Malibu. “It’s really important for me to spend that time with my kids in a positive way. If your car isn’t quiet, you can’t hear your kids talking to you in the background, and you can’t hear how their day went.” Valuable insights such as Gordon’s have helped to make the 2013 Malibu a more well-rounded safe and exceptionally quiet ride.
“Women engineers can provide a unique perspective to the design and engineering process,” said Rebecca Lindland, director of research at IHS Automotive. “For example, women are generally smaller than men so ergonomic needs are different. We also have a heightened sense of safety and tend to be more sensitive to the needs of family.”
Important insights such as these have had a tremendous impact in making the 2013 Malibu ready to take on the world. As the first global midsize sedan for Chevrolet, Malibu will be sold in 100 countries throughout six continents. As moms and engineers, this team can take pride in knowing that their accomplishments will be felt across the world.
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