CHICAGO – Chevrolet, which captured both North American Car and Truck of the Year honors with the Corvette and Silverado, won another trophy at the Chicago Auto Show when the Impala sedan was named "Family Car of the Year" by the Midwest Automotive Media Assn.
Tim Mahoney, Chevrolet’s global chief marketing officer, says honors help an automaker sell vehicles, "but you have to use those honors sparingly. You don't want consumers to look at it as if you're saying, ‛Hey, look at me, I've got the biggest checking account.’
“The most important thing is that awards help build credibility in your vehicles," he adds.
A year agoinsisted it didn't need to advertise on the Super Bowl telecast, yet this year the automaker had a big presence. Mahoney was asked why the change of heart.
“When it comes to the Super Bowl, everyone knows who won, Seattle,” he says. “But when it comes to Super Bowl ads, everyone claims victory.
“Advertising Age said we were successful building an image and pulling people into our fold, so I'm happy. It's important to have residual impact, not only in September when you introduce your new cars, but to have lasting impact later in the year.”
Despite the 18.4% drop in sales in January, Mahoney says Silverado fullsize pickup are performing well in the market, but will do even better as bi-fuel compressed-natural-gas versions enter the lineup in coming weeks. He says he is encouraged transaction prices are on the rise, indicating consumers are willing to spend more on the product.
Future advertising will focus more on how Silverado fits consumer lifestyles, starting with a new wave of television commercials in conjunction with the Olympics.
Referring to one of his rivals,, which is bringing out an aluminum-bodied ’15 F-150 pickup boasting lighter weight and higher mileage, Mahoney says, “None of our customers have been screaming for aluminum yet. We still think it has high cost to buy and repair. It's still too soon to say what the reaction is going to be.”