Chevy’s got a new batch of videos knocking Ford for making the 2015 F-150 out of aluminum. The ads are well produced, but remarkably dumb. Chevy’s dead-set on selling “aluminum” as “weak” and ergo unfit to be truck-making stuff, but that argument is fundamentally idiotic.
In case you haven’t seen the clips, here’s guys put in a room with an aluminum cage and a steel cage. Somebody releases a bear, and they have to pick which cage to hide in. (Spoiler: they pick the steel one).
Naturally, my first question to Chevy was “is this even real” and yes, I’ve been promised “the bear and the people were actually in there together” it’s not CGI. The bear is a “known Hollywood bear” who’s used to working with people. And obviously a great actor; that is one hell of a supervillan snarl!
This is cool and dramatic piece of video but it’s a crap truck commercial. How are these cages relevant to car performance? Obviously the steel cage will feel tougher to the emotionally-distressed layman by virtue alone of it being heavier.
And oh yeah, want to guess what a real bear cage is made of? The kind used for containing a half-ton polar bear? It’s aluminum.
Next up Chevy has people comment on an intentionally lame “Aluminum Man” superhero idea at what looks like a Comic Con-type event. The obvious story here is “hey it’s ‘Man Of Steel’ not ‘Man Of Aluminum’ ya dummies.” Steel rules aluminum drools.
Again, it’s funny and not at all applicable to cars.
Last we’ve got football guy and Chevy’s old friend Howie Long hanging out with Chief Engineer Eric Stanczak to talk construction and repair costs on the Silverado versus F-150. Finally, we might be getting somewhere.
We’ve all heard the rumors that the 2015 Ford F-150 is going to be harder to repair than its steel predecessor. To bring you up to speed on that; Edmunds.com smashed an aluminum F-150 and found it cost more to fix. Ford said that was because Edmunds didn’t bring the truck to a dealership certified in aluminum F-150 repair (Yes, that’s a specific box you can tick when searching for a Ford dealer on their website.)
But Ford’s done a bad job retorting this with definitive cost comparisons, and now Chevy’s done well to get some dramatic leverage here. Chevy says the independent testing outfit they hired (AMCI) did take trucks to aluminum-certified repair shops and still came up with a higher cost on the Ford’s fixes.
We tried to get a hold of AMCI but they haven’t responded. If they’ve got a media outreach line it sure ain’t easy to find and their website is just a bunch of buzzwords ejaculated all over a PowerPoint slideshow. I sincerely hope they hit us up when they see this post because I’d love to share some more specifics with you this “repair cost comparison” Chevy references.
Update: Here are some details of AMCI’s test findings.
The acting in this clip is pretty brutal (sorry Howie, please don’t kick my ass) but Chevy’s drawing a direct comparison between the vehicles and built a case with data. Of course, it kind of paints them into a corner against using aluminum in their own truck bodies which they already do to a small extent and will almost inevitably adopt more completely at some point.
And as far as durability’s concerned, the 2015 Ford F-150’s extremely high performance in crash tests is a solid defense there.
The 2015 Chevy truck lineup really has a lot going for it. Lots of people are reporting better fuel economy in their big V8’s than Ford’s smaller turbo engines. Their interiors are beautiful. Hell; I still say a Silverado 1500 still gives you the most truck for you money at less than $40,000.
I love a schoolyard fight between automakers as much as the next guy but I feel like GM might be leaning just a little too hard on the old “sticking tongue out and making fart noises” marketing tactic here.
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