Chevy’s latest attack ad holds no punches

It’s no secret Chevrolet has been cashing in on poking fun at Ford’s aluminum-bodied F-150. It’s been going on for a while now, with videos and advertisements showing how the Silverado is supposedly stronger than the F-150. Well, Chevy’s latest commercial series feels like political attack ads against the “other guy.”

The videos, followed by a slew of social media and other advertisements, shows the Silverado and F-150 getting landscaping blocks dropped into their beds. These pointy concrete blocks scratch and dent both cargo beds, but with dramatically more damage done to the F-150’s stamped aluminum bed. In fact, the F-150’s bed suffers several punctures, creating holes in the bed floor.

The block drop might not be an overly scientific test, but laboratory testing with actual equipment shows the aluminum is more prone to puncture damage than the steel. The results are confirmed with Chevy’s second barrage of testing – this time with a heavy toolbox getting pushed off the bedrails and falling corner-first onto the bed floor. Chevy say out of 14 demonstrations, the Silverado’s bed suffered only two punctures compared to 13 punctures in the F-150’s bed.

These videos are certainly designed to create doubt in consumers’ minds about Ford’s choice of aluminum construction in the cargo bed. It also creates serious doubt in the rumors regarding Chevy’s switch to aluminum for the next generation of Silverado. Perhaps that’s why Chevy was conducting the tests – to further research whether it would switch to aluminum in the future. Either way, Chevy is hitting hard at Ford’s move to aluminum in the F-150.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

The full-size pickup category is a hot market, with Ford, Chevy, and Ram continuing to be the leading three, with Toyota and Nissan trailing behind. Ford still racks up the largest sales numbers of the bunch, but Chevy is always close behind. Clinching a sales stat victory over Ford would mean huge bragging rights and an end to Ford’s 39-year reign. These steel vs. aluminum videos are just the latest in a long, long list of advertisements against Ford. But hey, healthy competition is always a good thing.

Nevertheless, Chevy’s dedication to denouncing the F-150’s aluminum body structure is relentless and is starting to sound like a broken record. Is there anything else Chevy can boast about?

2016 Chevrolet Silverado

2016 Chevrolet Silverado High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado here.

Press Release

Lab tests and field demonstrations show Silverado’s roll-formed, high-strength steel bed outperforms the competitor’s stamped aluminum bed, as shown in new videos released by Chevrolet.

The campaign is a dramatic example of Chevrolet engineers’ work to select the right material, enabled by the right manufacturing processes, for the right application.

According to Sandor Piszar, Chevrolet truck marketing director, it also demonstrates why Silverado is a smart choice for customers shopping for a truck they can use as a truck:

“We engineer and build our trucks with customers’ expectations in mind. For example, Silverado features a roll-formed, high-strength steel bed because truck customers demand the ability to haul their toys, tools and other cargo. These videos demonstrate the real-world benefits of the Silverado’s bed, in both extreme and everyday scenarios.”

To demonstrate the advantages of Silverado’s construction, Chevrolet conducted three comparisons to the stamped aluminum bed of the 2016 Ford F-150. Demonstrations were done without bedliners, evaluating the susceptibility of each bed to punctures.

In scientific testing using a wedge-shaped striker weighing 17 pounds (7.7 kilograms), the Silverado sample remained intact up to 90 joules of impact energy. By comparison, the aluminum bed floor exhibited hairline cracks at just 30 joules, and was completely punctured at 40 joules.

As an extreme example of the Silverado’s strength, 55 landscaping blocks weighing a total of approximately 825 pounds (347 kilograms) were dropped into the beds of both trucks from 5 feet above the bed floor. In 12 out of 12 comparisons shot for video, the Silverado exhibited only scratches and dents that did not affect the utility of the bed. The aluminum Ford F-150’s aluminum bed sustained punctures in every drop, with an average of 4.3 punctures per drop that could reduce the utility of the bed.

To replicate the kind of accident that can happen at any jobsite, the videos also show a steel, handheld toolbox pushed off the side rail of each truck. For the Silverado, the toolbox only dented the roll-formed high-strength steel bed in 12 out of 14 demonstrations. In the remaining two demonstrations, the toolbox left a pinhole puncture on the bed floor. For the F-150, the toolbox only dented the aluminum bed once out of the 14 demonstrations. In the remaining 13 demonstrations, the toolbox left a sizable puncture through the stamped aluminum bed floor.

The strength of the Silverado bed stems the material used and how it is formed. The high-strength steel alloy is so strong, the required geometry of the bed floor cannot be formed using traditional stamping. Instead, Chevrolet uses a roll-forming process that enhances material strength by creating less material fatigue than stamping.

“Obviously, any material can be pushed to the breaking point if you subject it to enough impact energy,” Piszar concluded. “If a customer does manage to puncture the high-strength steel bed of the Silverado, they have the added peace of mind knowing steel tends to be easier to repair than aluminum — potentially saving money and minimizing time without their truck.”

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