GM execs tell dealers Chevy can gain U.S. share in pickups

Can the Silverado gain U.S. share with lower repair costs vs. the new Ford F-150?

NEW ORLEANS -- General Motors executives say Chevrolet can take market share from Ford in the pickup market despite the planned introduction late this year of a redesigned F-150.

Dealers who attended Chevy’s make meeting here on Sunday said GM executives believe Ford’s heavy use of aluminum could raise the cost of ownership of the redesigned Ford truck -- an area in which they believe the Chevy Silverado already has an advantage.

GM officials at the meeting “said that they think the use of aluminum on the new Ford truck could increase insurance costs and the overall cost of ownership,” said one dealer who attended and didn’t want his name used. “They said it’s our opportunity to take share away from Ford.”

GM executives at the meeting included Alan Batey, president of GM North America and head of Chevy globally; Don Johnson, Chevy’s U.S. sales chief; Tim Mahoney, Chevy’s chief marketing officer; and Steve Hill, who recently was named head of GM U.S. sales and service.

Dealers were told that Chevy expects to increase its market share in 2014. Last year Chevy sales rose 5 percent to 1.95 million units. Its overall market share slipped to 12.5 percent, down from 12.8 percent.

“The majority of products included in this product onslaught already have been introduced,” says Steve Hurley, co-owner of Stingray Chevrolet in Plant City, Fla., and chairman of Chevy’s National Dealer Council.

“Now they feel like it’s time to build on that momentum and increase volume.”