• Chevrolet Takes Blatant Hits Against Aluminum in New Silverado Ad Campaign [w/ Videos]

    2015 chevy silverado ad campaign aluminum bad

    Chevrolet released a series of three ad spots that take blatant hits against the aluminum construction and promote the Chevy Silverado. Two of the spots have a doze of humor, while the third takes a more serious approach.

    The spot titled Cages pits “Real people. Not actors” (according to the ad) against a 700 pound grizzly bear. The people are in a confined testing facility and are presented with a choice of two cages. They are told one is made of aluminum and the other of high-strength steel. Next, the grizzly bear makes a surprise appearance and the people face a quick choice between the two cages.

    Next up is an ad titled New Superhero – Almighty Aluminum Man. This spot questions a panel of “real comic book fans” about the premise of the “Aluminum Man” for a possible new movie franchise.

    The third spot features spokesperson, Howie Long, in a more serious and the most direct hit against the 2015 Ford F-150 and the aluminum body construction. Howie interviews Chevrolet Chief Engineer Eric Stanczak about the differences between the Chevy Silverado and the Ford F-150. Eric quotes repair cost study by an independent firm AMCI Testing that concluded that repairing damage to aluminum bodied F-150 on average costs $1,755 more and takes 34 more days to complete (or double the repair time).

    The gloves are really off now. The pickup truck segment is the most popular in the United States and big money is at stake. The Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra have shown a recent increase in sales, as Ford has struggled. What are your thoughts on this recent ad campaign by Chevrolet?

    Noteworthy is the report (by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters) from February 2014 that stated that General Motors secured orders with Alcoa Inc and Novelis to supply aluminum body components for next generation of pickup trucks.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    37 thoughts on “Chevrolet Takes Blatant Hits Against Aluminum in New Silverado Ad Campaign [w/ Videos]

    1. This is pretty weak GM. If you turned the tables the aluminum f150 would have more advantages than GMs tried and true cheapest way of producing a good product.

    2. Furthermore GM better never mostly make their truck out of aluminum or they will have to say down the road…. Thanks to Ford use of aluminum on mainstream vehicles is now more affordable than and easy to repair. If GM is confident in their steel body let’s see damage comparisons of the body. Does steel hold up better than Fords aluminum? Also the idea of no rust on the body of my truck is a big longevity thing.

      1. Aluminum will corrode, Just look at a set of aluminum rims up in the salt belt, 5 years and their pitted and corroding. There also is whats called galvanic corrosion from the meeting of dissimilar metals, like where the body meets the frame.

        1. Aluminum can corrode. But the body doesn’t meet the frame on any vehicle; its separated by rubber body mounts. These F 150 bodies will outlast a steel body.

          1. Neither is going to have frame issues due to corrosion in their life.

            The point is that steel is stronger and if you need repairs the steel is cheaper to fix and faster.

            I thought they were pretty clever little jabs. Ford is doing the same crap flipped around with their trucks. You want a twin turbo aluminum pickup, go Ford. Apparently the masses are not so sure as the 15 F-150 is having a hard time getting traction. GM is capitalizing. Good for them.

            No one, not even GM says Aluminum is bad – but just because it’s better in some areas doesn’t mean it’s better in all.

            1. OK Mike, let’s clarify a few things. Not sure where you live, but here in the salt belt northeast, its very common for truck frames and bodies to have significant rot and rust by the time they are 10 years old. Right now, its not brand-centric…Ford, GM, Dodge/Ram all have this problem. People who want their truck to look good at the 10-year mark wash them a lot and undercoat them with something. Salt is a major killer. The frame on this new F-150 probably won’t hold up to salt any better than the GM trucks, but the body sure will.

              Your comment on steel being stronger and cheaper to repair…well, for now it probably is cheaper to repair. Pound for pound, aluminum is actually considerably stronger. Basically, aluminum is generally half as strong, but only 1/3 the weight. So you can make it equally as strong as steel, but still weigh a third less, and that’s basically what Ford did. Am I concerned about repair costs? Nope, I generally don’t crash my vehicles. If there is an accident, I file a claim. But I am concerned with rust – it devalues my vehicle and eventually becomes an inspection issue. Rust is much more likely to happen to an owner in the salt belt versus sheet metal repair.

              Ford is letting you have your cake and eat it too…you want the turbos and the best performing truck, get the Ford. Still want the Ford and a V8? The 5.0L V8 is one of the best out there. Let’s be honest – the Ford is better looking than the blunt-nosed, low Silverado, as is the RAM. The Toyota looks the worst. I think the GM trucks are good vehicles, but I’m really sick of Howie’s concerned look on his face when he discusses Fords with GM “engineers.” GM couldn’t even figure out how to make the steering wheel and driver’s seat line up.

    3. What a joke. How about showing people a jet airliner and saying wow, that’s aluminum.

      1. And how does that have to do with pickup trucks? Jet liners don’t get hit on job sites or in parking lots and when they do get damaged it costs millions to fix them if they can be fixed at all.

        1. GM’s commercial implies people are not as safe in an aluminum vehicle than a steel vehicle, by extension anyway, of the flexible aluminum bear cage vs. the rigid steel cage. My point is that millions of people safely travel by air in aluminum aircraft every day. Certainly you aren’t going to tell me a pickup truck body suffers more stress than the aluminum wings and fuselage of a modern jetliner?

          The conclusion is that aluminum can be made every bit as strong as steel, or stronger, while being lighter and unlikely to rust. That’s primarily why aircraft are made with it, and these advantages also apply to pickup trucks. GM is being a poor sport here because they know Ford just pulled off a major innovation which they weren’t prepared to deal with, and these cynical ads are designed to make people fearful to buy a better design…a design which even now GM is developing for their own trucks in a few years.

        2. Andy, you might want to read Troverman’s comments. They are by far the most informed on this matter. Here’s another perspective for the jet airliner. Consider the fact that this aluminum can carry almost a million pounds at over 600 mph with turbulence. Smart engineers know how to combine aluminum, steel and titanium to create the best product. Lazy, cheap companies stick with what is cheapest to keep their profits high.

    4. these comercials are so true ..and as for liter f150 ..where is the traction??? too….Silverado is the way too go

    5. So Ford advertises they use “Military Grade Aluminum” when there is no such grade of aluminum and that is ok? They use 6000 series aluminum on their body with some stronger 7000 series on some cab structures and 6000 is the most common commercially used grade and that is the thinnest grade of aluminum the military will use on any of their parts that don’t see physical abuse. Yet Ford is promoting it as tough military grade. And that is ok with people.

      GM pokes a little fun at it and suddenly GM is being cheeky, etc. Manufacturers poke at each other all the time. Ford advertising boasts how it has so much power and “doesn’t need a V8 to do it”.

      Lighten up people. These commercials are funny.

      1. evidently you know little about aluminum and less about military grade aluminum. You should know what you are speaking about before you add a comment

        1. “What kind of aluminum is the 2015 Ford F-150 made of?
          The majority of the truck body is 6,000-series alloy aluminum, which is a heat-treatable alloy aluminum. Depending on the mix that you put in the alloy, but certainly more a function of how long you heat-treat it, you can get all manner of properties out of this aluminum.”

          This is directly from a Ford engineer when interviewed by Forbes. Then you can look up 6000 grade and see it is the most common commercially used grade. The military uses some 7000 series on humvees but they use 6000 on most panels that aren’t subject to abuse. Yes they can use various heat treatments to strengthen 6000 but it is still the lowest grade used by major industry.

          1. So you’re complaining Ford is advertising they are using “military-grade aluminum” and then subsequently admit the military is indeed using the same grade aluminum on some of their vehicles?

            I can’t believe the hype over aluminum! GM / Howie act like this is venturing into the unknown! Countless vehicles have been constructed of aluminum, some 100% including chassis, others just the body. I drove an old Range Rover (aluminum body) for years, through salty winters, and 50% of its total use was off-road miles. You know what? The body never rusted, it never fell apart, came unglued, unriveted, or what have you. In fact, if you didn’t stick a magnet to the side of it, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t steel. My father drove an Audi A8 for years…100% aluminum. No issues, except the car was lighter (and faster) than it would have been otherwise as steel. An employee at the shop next door drives a Jaguar XJ which is also all aluminum. Again, no issues.

            Let’s get real, please…Ford did their homework, the aluminum bodywork feels very solid, this is a step forward.

    6. The first and last video aren’t too bad. The repair costs and time is interesting, but I’m sure the gap will narrow over time as places get more used to repairing aluminum. It is interesting since GM will probably switch to an aluminum truck next go around, although with the Cadillac CT6 their construction technique is different. All the brands have similiar advertising issues. I’ve always laughed at Ford advertising the heck out of a fully boxed frame in the F150 for its strength, while leaving the rear sections of the SD frame as a C-channel… Either way the advertising departments are paid to promote theirs while pointing out perceived weaknesses in others…

    7. GM is getting desperate. While Ford is introducing a ground up design with an aluminum body and a choice of 4 engines including two turbo V6’s, and RAM is putting the EcoDiesel in their light duty pick-ups, and making huge gains in interior design and comfort……GM is coming out with……stripe packages! Wow…..there is innovation for you. GM calls their process “tried and true”. How about outdated and old? The one commercial points at the body shops having to invest in new tools to repair aluminum bodies. So then maybe the auto industry should never bring out new technology like fuel injection? Cylinder deactivation? Airbags? Etc. GM is grasping at straws in these commercials and it’s obvious.

    8. One of those foot in mouth commercials. GM puts a alum hoods on now and they got a idea for welding the alum with the equipment they got. Well I guess you do live in the now. Maybe GM fan boy think up this one? Ridiculous!

    9. Lets see ford has a new aluminum military grade truck with 2 turbo engines that out pull and out runs the competition. They also offer a 5.0 for the v8 crowd. The new ford has parking assist and a new trailer backing system. A new frame that is lighter and stronger. They offer the first remote tailgate on a pick up also. Camera’s that offer all around protection.
      Chevrolets new truck came out with a lot of new technology also….A new step bumper . Gm’s old tried and true is what sent them belly up. Looks like gm will never learn!

    10. High strength steel…and exactly where is this on GMs? In the frame just like the Ford although the Ford has more high strength steel in its frame. The body on the GM is not high strength steel so this is a stupid dig! The sheet steel is so damn thin on all the trucks except for Ford that it’s crazy! All in an effort to reduce weight. The thickness of the aluminum on the Ford body is at least twice as thick. Take that stupid commercial done earlier this year where they took that sledge hammer to the aluminum Ford. If they would have been smart, they would have included a gm. The hammer would’ve been seating in the box as it would have went thru the steel box! Try taking two swings at the side of your gm and tell me how you make out!

    11. The videos are funny but say more about GM getting caught with its pants down with Ford’s release of the new F150; I suppose it’s a case of ‘if you can’t bet them with a better product then bet them with marketing’. Ford is at least two years ahead of GM in light duty truck development so expect more of the same until GM releases it’s own aluminum bodied Silverado.

      1. Don’t really know how ford is two years ahead. Aluminum vehicle have been around awhile, risk there was the switch, but government green car incentive loans probably helped with capitial, hope they can pay it back by 2025. Pock, pock, giggle….. Where gm body is mostly high strength steel.

        From what I have seen powertrains match up pretty equal with gm getting the better real world mileage. So now ford is screwing with cylinder deactivation, weird.

        1. Bryan meant 2 years is when GM plans to “aluminize” their trucks. As for MPG, a crew cab 2WD F150 with 2.7 engine eco, can get better gas mileage than any Colorado configuration out there (I am comparing to Colorado because it gets better MPG than 1500 series), comparing 2wd and 4×4 models. Ford and GM are on joint venture for 10 speed trans for 2017 as well. I hope they plan better than Dodge did on the 8 speed gear searchers. As for the commercials, can’t blame then, they have to do what they can right now to sell what they have and ramp up for their own aluminum make over. People say it will bite them in the foot, which at 1st it will but like everything, people will get over it,… eventually.

          1. Thanks Jay, I did mean to say that because as we know GM has already stated they are heading towards an aluminum bodied Silverado / Sierra as mentioned in several publications including Forbes:


            Although Ford is promoting the aluminum body as ‘military grade’, I think they are understating how advanced the technology is in the new Ford F150. The new F150 is not just the simple 6061-T6 you’d find on an H1 Hummer (I drove one while in the Army in the mid 80s and was amazed by its toughness and I never saw a rusty Hummer which I can’t say for steel bodied trucks.) Ford is also using 6000 series as well as 7000 series but over the ‘military grade’ they have the benefit of Alcoa’s new 951 coating that enhances adhesion and corrosion properties of the sheet. Aside from the aluminum body Ford also has its small 2.7L CGI turbo charged V6 motor which produces nearly the equivalent torque and power as a naturally aspirated 5.3L V8 in a GM. I didn’t hear about cylinder deactivation in the Ford but I did hear they were working on a hybrid version of their trucks; nice to have extra real estate available from a smaller motor … technology is a wonderful thing 🙂

    12. GM was planning on being the first aluminum truck before they went bankrupt and had to let obummer help them out so they are just a bunch of jerks.

    13. Eco-crap and aluminum. Ford has really lost the edge it once had. Truck owners don’t want gasoline powered turbo v6 engines that aren’t reliable. They certainly don’t want more expensive insurance and longer wait times for body repairs, and neither do insurance company’s. Ford always changes thing’s, which costs Ford owners more money. GM needs a diesel engines in their half tons, and SUV’s. Hopefully they’ll go with a small v8 diesel or inline 6 diesel. I’ll be buying a 2500 duramax as they’re proven trucks with a proven motor. They look great too!

      1. SO….you’re pretty worried about those “unreliable” turbo V6 engines…but you want a diesel half ton. I can promise you your costs of ownership with any diesel will be higher than with an EcoBoost. Diesel engines are great…but emissions standards are causing them to be equipped with a lot of very expensive equipment which tends to be problematic and very expensive to repair. The gas turbos don’t need any additional emissions equipment. Not sure what you find so unreliable about them. Most diesels are turbocharged, too.

        1. Diesel and gas turbos are designed and operate differential. It’s not a good comparison.

          Low RPM
          Low Boost (5-8)
          High Volume of Air
          Lots of Warm Exhaust Gases
          Slow Spool Up
          Almost No Back Pressure on Throttle Close

          Variable high RPM (up to 120000 at turbo)
          High Boost (10-15)
          Variable Volume
          Hot Exhaust Gases (twice the temp as diesel)
          Quick Spool Up
          Hard Back Pressure on Throttle Close

          1. Copying and pasting a small list from a car parts dealer isn’t exactly reliable. The Ram Ecoboost has a boost pressure of up to 25 psi for example. I can’t find where I read it, but that same engine has turbine speeds up to 100 000 which is not “low RPM”.

            1. That’s from a old diesel mechanic. So probably a bit dated, considering ford says 170000 rpms max on the turbines on the ecoboost. Coworker has a ecodiesel, he says boost at wot is around 18.5 for him. Point is a diesel is really not comparable to gasoline.

    14. I guess GM’s aluminum engines must be complete crap then! Remember the last time GM pointed out competitors advantages by trying to mock them? Man step, heated steering wheel… Now you can get both features on a Chevy. Just watch GM play follow the leader on aluminum and turbocharging! You just have to wait longer for them to catch up.

    15. Everyone can bash everyone’s engine, but the government is forcing a lot of mandated guidelines to be filled withing certain time constraints. As much as everyone complains about one brands approach, there is no turning back. Only better fuel economy using smaller turbo gas engines, more geared transmission, hybrids, smaller diesel engines, lighter vehicles, less air resistance,…. they are all going the same direction.

    16. Okay, I just saw a commercial on the Discovery Channel about sharks and something occurred to me ‘what are shark cages made from that are used to protect divers against Great White sharks (I.e., the largest most powerful predator alive?) Well, it’s aluminum; I’m not in marketing but Ford should could get a lot of mileage interviewing professional divers that use these cages to protect their lives and get their opinion of GM’s bear commericial.


      1. Lol, I think a Great White has a much more powerful attack than a Grizzly Bear. Everyone knows Aluminium will cost more to repair, but give it a few years and the difference will be much less. If they made the two cages the same weight, most would choose aluminium since it could be up to 3x a thick.

        1. I didn’t notice the date of the article till after (I had Google ‘Shark Cage Construction’) but it was just released so It must be that ‘Popular Mechanics’ didn’t agree with GM’s assessment of aluminum being weak. Here is an interesting quote from the article:

          quote: Representatives of car manufacturer that he can’t disclose approached him with an idea to attach the naked chassis of an aluminum-bodied SUV to a cable and lower it into shark-infested waters. “With a family of four inside,” Moskito says. He’s still waiting for the idea to come to fruition. “We’re all set up to do it.”

          Not sure Ford has SUV with an aluminum safety cage (at this time) so I’m curious what company and SUV that would be? Looks like there could be a lot of good commercials coming our way soon 🙂

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