Ford Designer Teases GM For Using the Same Touchscreen Knob in 2024 GMC Sierra EV

Both Ford and GM use similar looking touchscreen knobs and a Ford designer pointed out that the Mustang Mach E used it first.

byNico DeMattia|
Ford News photo

If you saw the reveal of the GMC Sierra EV electric pickup truck, you may have noticed something familiar about its interior touchscreen. Mounted onto the screen itself is a small knob that likely controls the volume and it looks shockingly similar to the touchscreen knob found in the Mustang Mach E. When Ford designer Ryan McManus saw that, he took to Twitter to send a friendly jab at his crosstown rival.

The Mustang Mach E's "Sync knob" is one of its better interior features, as users can control certain functions of the infotainment system with the physical control. The rest of the system is run on its massive touchscreen but the Sync knob adds a physical interaction point, which makes life easier while driving. After seeing the love from customers, it makes sense that GM might want to use similar technology. So it did.

GMC's new Sierra EV pickup features a similar, but not quite identical, knob for its own infotainment system. So you'd be forgiven for taking McManus' joke seriously and thinking that GM copied Ford. However, it has less to do with GM and Ford and more to do with their supplier—Preh.

Preh is a German automotive parts supplier that invented the touchscreen-based physical knob used in both the Ford Mustang Mach E and the GMC Sierra EV. The basic knob design literally adheres to the touchscreen and is then programmed to control certain functions of the infotainment system. Volume is the obvious one but the knob also tilts in different directions, which can control other functions as well.

Despite both brands using Preh's touchscreen knob tech, each brand's iteration looks different. Both Ford and GM modified the design and touchpoints to give it their own flavor but the basic part is the same for both. Ford's knob is larger (don't laugh) and features more knurling on the edge, while GM's is a bit smaller with a smoother edge. Though, both brands' knobs ultimately do the same thing.

At the end of the day, it's more of a "Who wore it better" situation, with neither brand having any real beef over this. Car companies share parts suppliers all the time, so this is nothing new. Especially with an innovative new part from Preh, who supplies parts to far more than just Ford and GM. Still, it's a fun little jab from one designer to a rival brand.