DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. on Monday blasted General Motors over a snarky advertisement for GM trucks run during the Super Bowl broadcast, but stopped short of taking any kind of legal action.
The ad, during what proved to be the most-watched US television broadcast in history, showed Chevrolet Silverado trucks and their drivers surviving a 21st century apocalypse.
"Where's Dave?" asked one of the survivors.
"Dave didn't drive the longest-lasting, most dependable truck on the road. Dave drove a Ford," replied his friend.
Ford had sought to block the ad before Sunday's broadcast of the US football championship game, which drew 111.3 million viewers across the country.
But GM went ahead, and the spot, based on ostensible Mayan forecasts of a 2012 apocalypse, became one of the most talked-about ads in the advertising-heavy broadcast.
"We don't agree with some of GM's claims in their ad, particularly around durability" for Ford's famous F-series pickup trucks, said Ford spokesman Mike Levine.
"What's important is that Ford F-Series is proud to be the best-selling truck in America for 35 years... And Ford is the brand with the most pickup trucks on the road with more than 250,000 miles -- demonstrating just how durable our trucks are in the real world," Levine said.
"Any further action will be up to our legal team," he added.
Nevertheless, Chevrolet is expected to use the ad again on future television broadcasts.
Pickup trucks account for 12 percent of all light duty trucks sold in the US, and between them GM and Ford account for more than 70 percent of all sales. The trucks are also major profit centers for both companies.
Levine pointed out that Ford outsold Chevrolet by more than 70,000 units last year.