“This is a great way to kick off Chevrolet’s Centennial year,” said Joel Ewanick, GM Global Chief Marketing Officer. “Our first quarter results are a clear indication that consumers are responding to our new product line, which only happens when you truly listen to the customer. Chevrolet has developed strong connections with consumers in key markets across South America, Europe, and Asia. We look forward to strengthening those connections as we introduce Chevrolet to Korea, and as we introduce a growing lineup of global vehicles that build on the successful launch of the Chevrolet Cruze.”
Last year, Chevrolet was the only top-five global vehicle brand to grow total market share – accounting for about 5.8% of all vehicles sold worldwide.
That strong momentum continued in the first three months of 2011, as Chevrolet recorded double-digit sales gains over the same period last year in four of its five top markets, including:
• In the United States, Chevrolet sold 416,505 vehicles for the quarter, an increase of 23%. In February, Chevrolet was the highest-volume brand in the U.S. market.
• In China, Chevrolet sold a record 159,303 vehicles for the quarter, an increase of 17%.
• In Brazil, Chevrolet sold 142,734 vehicles for the quarter, a decrease of 9% from the brand’s record-setting sales in the first quarter of 2010.
• In Argentina, Chevrolet sold 34,103 vehicles, an increase of 21% for the first quarter. Chevrolet set three consecutive sales records in the South American country, recording the brand’s best January, February and March sales.
In the Middle East, Chevrolet sold 21,596 vehicles and made strong gains across the region with sales up 28% in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the previous year.
In Europe, Chevrolet sold 112,482 vehicles, an increase of 7% for the year. During that time, Chevrolet gained market share in nine European markets as the brand doubled sales in Denmark and Turkey, and increased sales in France and Russia by 80% and 51%, respectively.
Chevrolet’s global growth is expected to accelerate. A key contributor will be the addition of the Korean market, where Chevrolet has replaced GM Daewoo as GM’s main brand. In March, GM sales in Korea climbed 60% from the previous month, led by the launch of the new Chevrolet brand and new products such as the Orlando, Spark and Cruze. Additional models such as the Captiva SUV and Cruze hatchback will soon be rolling out in Korea.
“The change to Chevrolet will strengthen GM’s presence in the South Korean market,” said Mike Arcamone, president and CEO of GM Korea. “We see great opportunities to contribute to the growth of one of the most iconic global automotive brands.”
In addition to growing Chevrolet’s global footprint, the brand is also expanding its lineup of global vehicles.
Fueled by a successful launch in the United States and continued growth in China, Chevrolet sold 150,652 Cruze sedans during the first quarter of 2011 – a 117% increase over the first quarter of 2010.
Since the Cruze was first introduced in Europe in 2009, Chevrolet has sold nearly 600,000 Cruzes worldwide: Cruze sales are expected to continue to grow with the addition of the Cruze hatchback, which will go on sale this summer in Europe, followed by other markets around the world. In Europe, the compact segment alone accounts for more than a quarter of all vehicle sales, and approximately 65% of all compact cars are hatchback models. The Cruze hatchback is expected to go on sale in the Middle East this fall.
The Cruze will soon be joined by the new Sonic small car – which will be introduced in the Middle East in the fall of 2011.
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