Truck manufacturers thrive on good old-fashioned smack talk in their advertising and marketing. They love to tackle competitors' claims head-on and boast about their trucks’ capabilities.
But perhaps the best competitive challenge that we've ever heard comes from Tom Stephens, General Motors' vice chairman in charge of global product operations, to crosstown rival Ford. It concerns two trucks that have yet to hit the market: GM's 2011 Chevrolet and GMC Heavy Duty pickups and Ford's 2011 F-Series Super Duty.
"You're going to love our new diesel Duramax engine in the new Heavy Duty," Stephens told PickupTrucks.com at the 2010 North American International Auto Show.
But then, in a powerful statement of confidence in the new haulers, Stephens said, "You know what I want to do to prove it? I want to take our truck and Ford's [new Super Duty] and chain them together back -to-back. Then I want to have them pull against each other. I know our truck will beat theirs."
We asked Stephens three times if he was serious, and he repeated back — very enthusiastically, we might add — what he sees as a spectacular way to prove just how strong GM's new Heavy Duty pickups will be.
Stephens should know the capability of GM's new pickup and its updated Duramax diesel engine. Before he was promoted to his current position, Stephens was executive vice president of GM global powertrain.
So we'd like to take Stephens up on this challenge and offer our impartial services to referee such an event in Texas, the heart of truck country, in an arena where GM and Ford owners can come out and watch. We'll split the venue in half, for each side.
We've informally passed along Stephens’ challenge to Ford, just to let them know GM's position. There's no official response yet, but we think it's certainly gotten their attention.
The rest of the details still need to be worked out. So what do you say GM and Ford? Are you both all in? We know Tom Stephens is.