DETROIT — Chevrolet has pulled “Chevy Surprises Competitive Owners When It Comes to Reliability,” a 60-second spot touting Chevrolet as the “most reliable” brand to the surprise of groups of Ford, Honda, and Toyota owners.
In a statement, Chevrolet spokesman Afaf Farah said the ad “remains in the brand’s toolbox” and was only being pulled to make way for a new Silverado campaign. “We have not altered our marketing campaign because of any concerns with the accuracy of our ad content.”
The ad debuted this month as part of Chevrolet’s ongoing “Real People” series. It drew fire from the competing factories and inspired a critical analysis by Jalopnik writer Tom McParland. McParland reported Chevrolet relied on “dubious” data produced by a 2018 Ipsos survey that included 48,679 owners of 2015-MY vehicles built by each of the major brands sold in North America. A summary provided by Chevrolet to Jalopnik failed to include breakdowns of brand ownership and vehicle mileage.
As McParland pointed out, the factory’s claim runs counter to Consumer Reports’ latest Auto Reliability Survey, which placed Chevrolet at No. 23 among 29 ranked brands. Chevrolet did place sixth in J.D. Power’s 2018 Vehicle Dependability Study, and the 2015 editions of the four vehicles featured in the ad — the 2019 Equinox, Malibu, Silverado, and Traverse — each topped their respective segments.
Honda spokeswoman Jessica Paul told the Detroit Free Press her factory “did challenge” the ad but declined to comment further. Ford spokesman Mike Levine took to Twitter shortly after Chevrolet announced it would pull the ad.
“It’s understandable that the ‘real people’ in the commercial would be surprised with Chevrolet’s claim of being the most reliable car brand. Because it’s not the case. They have agreed to take these false and misleading ads down and we’d like to see that happen immediately,” Levine wrote.