NEW ORLEANS -- Chevrolet sees the introduction of Ford's redesigned F-150 pickup as an opportunity rather than a threat, dealers were told at the make meeting here.
Dealers who attended the meeting 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."
Dealers also said that Chevrolet is targeting a 10 percent increase in its retail sales during 2014. Last year Chevy's overall sales rose 5 percent, to 1.95 million units.
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 global 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 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," Hurley said.
Chevy dealers also were shown several new commercials to support a string of recent and forthcoming models. New spots are coming for the recently launched 2015 Silverado heavy-duty pickup, the re-engineered 2014 Malibu sedan and the redesigned 2015 Tahoe SUV, which is scheduled for launch this spring.