If you had just seen the ad's headline, you might have thought it was a harmless TV commercial. "Chevy surprises competitors' owners when it comes to reliability," it says. Maybe it could have the impression that Chevrolet was not very reliable and surprised the owners by showing how the brand improved. That could have worked.
The ad went much further. After a speaker asked Chevens famous "real people" if they believed Ford, Honda or Toyota was "the most reliable car company", he convinced them with the discovery that the answer was Chevy. That seemed misleading at best, and after checking Chevy's data behind the claim, that was an incredibly weak assertion.
It turns out that we were not the only ones who looked closely. Representatives of the three named automakers quickly turned to GM and told the car giant to pull down the ad, The Detroit News reported. After reviewing his options, Chevy decided to pull the spot out of local and national airwaves on January 1
Chevy: The ad is "out of regular rotation".
In a statement to Detroit Free Press, a Chevrolet spokeswoman said the brand was "on display," claiming the brand was "in the ad space," the automaker says from? According to the Chevy agency, the decision "to launch a new Silverado creative" was the reason (and not the accuracy).
Honda, who told the Free Press he challenged the ad, might object. Ford spokesman Mike Levine, who described the ad on Twitter as "false and misleading", would probably offer another reason. (Toyota, for his part, confirmed that the matter was being discussed with GM and expected the ad to fall off.)
If we look at the evidence, we have a hard time believing that Chevy drew the bill because his competitors have complained. (When was GM last worried for upsetting his competitors?) The obvious answers relate to the claims he made, which I noted in a January 6 post about the commercial.
Consumer Reports. The Chevrolet Traverse was one of Consumer Report's most unreliable cars in 2019. | Chevrolet
When I wrote about this topic four days before the much-quoted article by Jalopnik was published, Chevy proved to be a much weaker source of assurance than Consumer Reports polls. These annual rituals comprise around 500,000 answers. The reliability survey Ipsos conducted for Chevy was answered by less than 50,000 vehicle owners (ie, less than 10%).
Given these numbers, it's no wonder that Chevy offered details on the ad in fine print. For the past two years, Chevy has ranked in the bottom 10 of consumer report reliability ratings. (In 2019, the brand reached 23rd place among 29 rated companies.) Also, two Chevy vehicles landed last year in the ten least reliable models.
Consumer Reports uses high rates of return and averages the data over the previous three years to determine the annual values ratings. That's probably why car buyers have bought them from J.D. Trust Power Dependability Ratings. To conclude, JD Power looks back on polls from three-year-old cars, and Chevy outperformed its best rivals there.
This system sounds quite similar to the Ipsos study that Chevy pulled for his now-used TV ad. The only problem? J.D. Power released its reliability ratings for 2018 with fewer than 37,000 responses. This is even less than the number of responses used for the survey commissioned by Chevy.
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