Cadillac, Ram and others try to steal F-150 thunder
The rest of the automotive industry on Thursday did not lie silent ahead of the debut of Ford Motor Co.'s redesigned F-150.
The Blue Oval's rivals would not let the spotlight shine on America's top-selling vehicle with Cadillac, Ram and others teasing their own new vehicles, and electric-vehicle startup Lordstown Motor Co. showing publicly its first vehicle, the Endurance pickup, in northeast Ohio that included a campaign visit from Vice President Mike Pence.
"You see automakers do this all the time, trying to steal the thunder and shift the attention back to us," said Karl Brauer, executive publisher for Kelley Blue Book. "That's a common practice for competitors in any industry to try to cash in the high activity and important new product reveals."
Trucks particularly have held up well amid the economic downturn resulting from novel coronavirus pandemic, seeing about a 25% decline over the first half of the year compared to a 40% drop in passenger vehicles, according to Cox Automotive Inc. Without the grandstand of auto shows canceled because of the outbreak, companies may be looking to ride on someone else's coattails, noted Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights for car research site Edmunds.com Inc.
"It's hard to break through the noise right now between the global pandemic and the unrest across the country," she said. "Tying themselves to a larger moment may be necessary in these times with so much clutter seeking out attention."
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' truck brand took to social media to share a nine-second video advertising the new Ram TRX performance pickup. The clip shows a cloud of dust and includes the rev of a vicious engine. It teases a debut later this summer.
With the Ford planning to offer electrified versions of the F-150, brands offering alternatives powertrains had their say, too. General Motor Co.'s Cadillac shared it will detail its first all-electric vehicle, the Lyriq, during a virtual event at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 after a March reveal was canceled due to the novel coronavirus.
A minute-long teaser for the luxury SUV emphasizes a new beginning and the sleek designs and technology of other Cadillac vehicles. GM already has said the Lyriq will run on its Ultium batteries and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds. Production is slated to begin in 2022 for the 2023 model year.
Even Rivian Automotive, the Ford-backed electric-vehicle startup based in Plymouth, shared a 30-second video of its R1T pickup racing through the desert and crawling up rocky paths. The truck is expected to launch alongside the R1S SUV early next year at its plant in Normal, Illinois.
Staff Writer Kalea Hall contributed.