Chevy, Chrysler pick on Ford pickups; can retaliation be far behind?
First there was the Super Bowl slam, where drivers of the Chevy Silverado show up in a TV commercial lamenting the loss of their buddy Dave, who fails to survive an apocalypse because he drove a Ford pickup.
Now Chrysler is running a national spot that poses the question: What if you were to take away horsepower, torque and warranty coverage from a Ram? "Well," says the grizzled voice-over, "you'd end up with a Ford F-150."
A dogfight has raged for decades in the full-sized pickup category, where sniping at the competition has been a regular pastime. But the jabs seem to be coming faster and harder of late, as rivals beat up on Ford.
How long before Ford hits back? Ford isn't saying.
But the company has been known to take a shot at the competition as well.
In September, Ford got some heat when it ran a commercial as part of its "Drive One" campaign, spotlighting an F-150 driver.
Facing a barrage of questions from reporters, the driver says: "I wasn't going to buy another car that was bailed out by our government. I was going to buy from a manufacturer that's standing on its own -- win, lose or draw. That's what America is about."
The subtle-as-a-hammer reference was to General Motors and Chrysler taking government bailouts in 2008-09.
"There have been good-natured, competitive truck ads as long as we can remember," said Joel Ewanick, GM's top global marketing executive. "We don't know this for a fact, but we would guess that the Hatfields drove Chevy trucks and the McCoys drove Ford trucks."