It appears a dark chapter in our nation’s automotive history is in the process of being written. Amid the fallout and shock of Roe v. Wade and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, a new conflict has emerged that promises to unleash tragedy and aggression across the scope of the entire nation. It all began a few months ago with the ongoing tension between GMC and Chevy. It’s hard to determine exactly where this turmoil began, but many suspect it has to do with some of the GMC lineup being considered the “upscale” version of Chevrolet’s fleet.
In the past, the competition has been present but never thought of as containing any malice or ill feelings. “GM is a company that’s always stood shoulder to shoulder in unity with one another,” historian Ken Burns recently commented on a recent episode of Frontline on PBS. “We’re witnessing the birth of a second Civil War between Chevy and GMC…Chevy seceding from GM in a five-to-one vote signifies the inevitable carnage we should brace ourselves for.” Burns, who has directed a number of award-winning documentaries on American History, was prophetic with his statement. “With the thunder of battle now approaching the country, I now have the ideal opportunity to film and document the acts and wages of aggression as they’re taking place.” Last Thursday, a conflict between the Chevy Silverado 2500 HD vs 2022 GMC Sierra 2500 HD was the first shot fired in this new conflict affecting car dealerships from Syracuse to Sacramento.
With Chevy departing from the United Brands of GM, the conflict certainly has wasted no time in becoming romanticized by cultural critics. Industry insider Mark Scaglione commented, “In the last war, it was the blue and the gray, the rebs and the yanks, and now…we have the bow ties and the bold…the whole thing is a futile and pointless conflict is you ask me, Chevy and GMC are the same lineups, albeit with a different nameplate.” The relations between the two respective brands have been on thin ice for quite some time. GMC spokesperson Harvey Schechter didn’t help matters when he called Chevy the “brand for people who think wife beating is a competitive sport.” Chevy fired back with claims that the GMC lineup is nothing more than a puppet for the bourgeoisie, and by overcharging for their vehicles, they only wish to ensure that superior performance is only granted to a select few who can afford it. The “Confederacy of Chevy,” as the brand is now referring to itself, has wasted no time asserting its intention to separate from GM, becoming an independent entity.
The rivalry finally exploded into open conflict at the Manassas Junction GMC dealership last Thursday. Sales staff and maintenance crews alike began to battle one another with oil pans, funnels, calculators, and anything the combatants could get their hands on. The skirmish had no clear victor and created a lot of confusion from the various onlookers who were just there to get an oil change. With GMC requesting 75,000 licensed drivers to assist in the upcoming conflict, some have made strides to end the matter peacefully, so that body shops will not be overbooked with damaged vehicles and mechanics won’t be overworked while attempting to fix ruptured fuel lines.
“I’m asking for GM to end this needless aggression and needless loss of mileage,” President Joe Biden has stated. “My administration is willing to harbor peace talks and ask Ford to work as an intermediary to negotiate a settlement that’s fair for both parties.” With both fleets mobilizing, we can only hope to have a resolution sooner rather than later.