Chevrolet Attacks Ford’s Aluminum, Again, While Drastically Discounting Their Trucks

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Aluminum versus steel. Even though the Ford F-150, with an all-aluminum body, has been on sale for well over a year now, the competition is still raising concerns over the use of aluminum. In a powerful “Real People, Not Actors” commercial, Chevrolet attempts to show how fragile the bed of the F-150 is compared to the steel bed of the Silverado.

Without digging into what is presented in this commercial, I can say it’s a powerful message. It strikes in a similar way that the bear commercial did last year. Clearly — if you go entirely based on this video — the truck to buy is the new Chevrolet Silverado.

Of course, if the results haven’t come out the way that Chevrolet expected, they wouldn’t be having this conversation at all. Now, let’s break it down.

Forget about the front loaders dropping 825 pounds of landscaping stones into the beds of both pickup trucks. I don’t know a landscaper, who values what the stones look like, would load them into a truck that way. It’s a dramatic visual, but it’s not extremely relevant.


The toolbox demonstration at the end, where it punctures the bed of the F-150, is one we should take a closer look at.

Chevy, according to their release, said they tested both trucks’ beds using a wedge-shaped impact striker. The energy used was converted to joules. According to the results, the Chevrolet handled 90 joules of energy without cracking, and the F-150 started cracking at just 30 joules.

We, of course, have to assume that Chevrolet’s testing was factual. Considering they have a vested interest in the outcome, we should always be skeptical of that reporting — even if it is actually true.

The practical solution to this is what most pickup truck buyers do anyway; get a bedliner. Almost all press trucks I’ve received from every manufacturer has come with a spray-in bedliner already installed. Even an inexpensive bed mat would help mitigate most of the damage displayed here.


When asked by Automotive News, a spokesman for Ford said;

“When you’re the market leader for 39 years, competitors sometimes try to take shots at you with marketing stunts. The fact remains that F-150’s high-strength, military grade, aluminum alloy cargo box offers the best combination of strength, durability, corrosion resistance, capability, safety and fuel efficiency ever offered in a pickup. We have built nearly a million new F-150s, and our lead over the competition continues to grow.”

So why did Chevrolet choose right now to launch this campaign? Sales. F-150 growth is strong so far this year, while Silverado sales are slipping.

To help move metal, these ads are running alongside Chevrolet’s Truck Month promotions, which include over $8,000 off a truck, plus great financing.

Huge incentives plus attack ads prove that Chevrolet is really on the defensive. Will this attack help sales? Only time will tell, but so far this year Ford’s sales don’t demonstrate an actual concern about aluminum from buyers.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or over in the forums!

via [Automotive News, General Motors]

Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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