The upstaged press conference: GM insists it was a coincidence

Ahh, we love nothing better than a little drama in the automotive industry.

Autoblog's Eric Bryant reported on Wednesday a little snafu involving the trailer truck hauling the Chevy Camaro, which drove right past a press conference featuring the Dodge Challenger concept. Vines called the stunt a "wuss move" on GM's part and even mixed it up in the comments section of Eric's post, saying that he applauds GM for reintroducing the Camaro, "albeit one year later than our Challenger."

But what does GM have to say about the whole thing?

At a GM press event yesterday (during which the Dodge Challenger did not make an appearance -- too bad, we say, we would have liked to have seen what kind of antics Vines was no doubt mulling in return), Chevy general manager Ed Peper told Autoblog that Chevy's intentions were innocent, and that what Vines describes as an attempt on GM's part to upstage his press conference was really just coincidental. His comments echoed those of Chevy spokesman Terry Rhadigan as quoted in the Detroit News on Wednesday, but we wanted to hear it for ourselves.

"The Camaro happened to go by," said Peper. "We don't try to do that. We're all for good, fair competition, but everyone should have the space to do what they need to do."

Peper told us that the truck carrying the Camaro was merely enroute from one media event to the next. With GM's news this week that the Camaro will go to production, the car has become a hot commodity, purportedly causing its presence to be requested at back-to-back events. In the morning, the "Cruiser's Blast" put on by Detroit radio station WJR-AM enjoyed the Camaro's company at Fox & Hound's up in Pontiac, while the press conference put on by the Woodward Dream Cruiser's organizers in the afternoon hosted the Camaro next in Pleasant Ridge. For those not familiar with the Detroit area, Pleasant Ridge is about 20 miles downstream from Pontiac-- an impressive distance with all of the congestion on Woodward for the Dream Cruise.

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