President Trump, Vice President Pence, and a few other folks addressed the public on a White House lawn in front of two heavy-duty Chevy Silverados and a crane today. General Motors, apparently, had nothing to do with this.
This tweet, in particular, has been making the rounds in automotive media chats so I figured at least a few readers might be interested in any backstory. I hope so because I’m going to face the mild inconvenience of deleting a bunch of emails regarding “keep cars out of politics” for posting this. So. Come on. Somebody has to care.
The official White House YouTube upload of this presentation is zoomed in too close on the podium to see the trucks, but the CBS News White House Correspondent tweeted some context for the vehicles on display:
I sent an email to GM’s main corporate comms person asking what the deal was. If GM paid to have its trucks there or made a deal with the Trump Administration to get them there, that’d be interesting to know. Specifically, I asked if GM was aware of the vehicles being used in this way before this event; if GM had anything to do with the planning/execution of this event; and if so, why the company wanted its vehicles used in this way. (If not, what GM’s official position is on the demonstration now that it’s taken place.)
One of the company’s spokespeople got back to me quickly, and after a salutation, replied:
“Actually, we weren’t aware of the event beforehand but looks like they chose a great truck.”
So there you have it: The official response is that GM was not involved in this product placement and nor did it take the opportunity to condemn it. Hah, that was never going to happen but it would have been hilarious. Imagine a corporation like GM brazenly dissing the president, like a rock star pissed about Trump using their music at a rally?
I reached out to the White House’s press contact line for a comment too, to see if the trucks were purchased or rented, or more importantly if there were any particular reasons that Chevys were picked. But I wouldn’t count on any substantial revelations from a reply if and when it does come.