Chevy idles on the ice at a Wings game, sorta
As symbols go, the timing could have been better.
One of General Motors Co.'s crown jewels, a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 "Trail Boss," appeared to get stuck at center ice during a Red Wings game this week. That came just days after the company announced plans to idle five factories in North America, imperil the jobs of more than 14,000 employees — and infuriate national politicians, starting with President Donald Trump.
Chevy spokesman Mike Ofiara told The Detroit News the truck did not stall. The crew turned the truck off during during the intermission show — per Wings protocol, to avoid heating up the ice surface. When the driver turned the truck back on, he accidentally accepted an over-the-air update, prompting the truck to shut down for a few minutes.
"Bad timing," Ofiara said.
Still, the stuck truck didn't go unnoticed on social media. GM rolled out the pre-production muscle truck during the second intermission of Wednesday night's game between the Detroit Red Wings and the St. Louis Blues at Little Caesars Arena. While turned off, two Zamboni machines resurfacing the ice circled the big red truck until crews could get it restarted.
Call it just one more piece of negative publicity this week for Detroit's No. 1 automaker. On Monday, GM announced plans to pull products from two U.S. car plants, a third in Canada and two U.S. transmission plants to cut such money-losing sedans as the Chevy Impala, Chevy Volt and Buick LaCrosse.
GM plans to lay off 6,000 white-collar employees in the new year, too. The idled plants, buyouts and layoffs would affect some 14,000 jobs across the company. The stalling Silverado added to tense finger-wagging from U.S. politicians about the announcements and GM's implied commitment to its communities and the country.
GM Authority first reported the incident. Some, including Ford spokesman Dan Jones, took to social media to mock the stalled truck before a hometown crowd. Red Wings games at LCA on average have 19,034 people in attendance, according to ESPN.com.
Crew members drove the truck off the ice before the Zamboni drivers were finished resurfacing.
GM wants to build more of its larger, more profitable vehicles. And the truck, which competes with Ford Motor Co.'s F-150 and the Ram 1500 from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, is currently trying to add to its sales lead over Ram and close the gap on Ford.
Silverado sales were up a bit more than 1 percent through the first nine months of the year, the automaker reported in October. GM no longer reports monthly sales figures.