Detroit’s Big 3 has been criticized for years for focusing most of its attention on the truck and SUV market, leaving its car models uncompetitive. Well things are changing with new models like the Chevy Cruze and Ford Focus. GM has just announced that for the first time since 1991, car sales are now accounting for a higher percentage of Chevy’s sales than all trucks, SUVs and crossovers combined.
Chevyt cars have outsold combined sales of trucks, crossovers and utilities in April, May and June of this year – and are expected to represent 47 percent of the brand’s sales for the first half of 2011. The last time cars led Chevrolet’s sales for three consecutive months was in May, June, and July of 1991. That year, cars represented 52 percent of Chevrolet sales.
“Chevrolet has always been known for building great trucks,” said Alan Batey, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet Sales and Service. “Today, we are in the middle of transforming the brand with a strong lineup of cars that match the appeal of our trucks and crossovers.
“That transformation is clearly bringing new customers to the brand – as passenger cars and four-cylinder engines are driving Chevrolet’s growth this year,” Batey said. “We expect that momentum to accelerate as Chevrolet introduces three new cars over the next two years – the Sonic, Spark, and next-generation Malibu.”
Chevy’s growth can be attributed to the Chevy Cruze and Malibu models. The Chevy Malibu was the best-selling car in the US in May. Additionally, another factor contributing to Chevy’s growth this year has been the improving performance, refinement, and fuel economy of the brand’s four-cylinder engines. In the first six months of 2011 an esitmated 46 percent of buyers chose a four-cylinder Chevy model, which is double the percentage of four-cylinders consumers bought five years ago.
“Chevrolet’s investment in advanced engine technology is reflected in the increased popularity of our four-cylinder models,” said Batey. “These technologies offer the performance and refinement drivers expect from Chevy in smaller engines that deliver the fuel efficiency they want.”