Chevrolet is taking aim at the Ford F-150, or rather, dumping landscaping blocks on the Ford F-150, in the start of a major new marketing offensive that starts Wednesday.
It’s the latest move in the steel versus aluminum war involving the Silverado and the F-150, which is the long-time best-selling truck in America.
The automaker is out to prove the Silverado’s roll-formed, high-steel pickup bed is stronger and more durable than the Ford F-150’s stamped aluminum one.
So naturally, it took both the 2016 Silverado and the 2016 F-150 and dropped a bunch of rocks on the truck beds to see what would happen. It videotaped all the action, and as it is Chevy’s marketing video, naturally the F-150 sustained more damage.
To get more specific, Chevy dumped 55 landscaping blocks weighing 825 pounds on the bed of the trucks from 5 feet above. The beds did not have bedliners.
In 12 out of 12 times, Chevy says the Silverado survived with only scratches and dents. But Chevrolet claims the Ford F-150’s aluminum bed was punctured every time, with an average of 4.3 punctures per drop.
In another experiment, they went with something a little less extreme. They shoved a steel, handheld toolbox off the side rail and onto the bed. In 12 out of 14 demonstrations, the toolbox dented the Silverado’s steel bed. In the other two, it left a “pinhole” puncture on the bed floor. Chevy claims the toolbox did a lot more damage to the Ford, denting the aluminum bed once and puncturing it 13 times.
Chevy plans to start running 30- and 60-second commercials on ESPN, NASCAR programming, the NHL finals, Major League Baseball and more starting Wednesday. It will even run longer versions in more than 2,000 movie theaters.
Ford was not amused by the stunt. A Ford spokesperson had this to say about the videos:
“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.”
We’d be surprised if Ford’s F-150 aluminum team wasn’t working on a new F-150 video of its own at this very moment. We’ll keep you updated.