Chevy is often thought of as a particularly “all-American” brand, but GM has been working diligently in recent years to expand Chevrolet’s role as the company’s lead brand globally, too—and the strategy seems to be working fine: Chevrolet recently released its international sales figures for the first quarter of 2012, and it turns out that the brand has notched another volume record. Further, along with its new benchmark of 1.18 million Q1 deliveries, the Bowtie brand now has set sales records in six consecutive quarters. Per the General, “Chevrolet has grown faster than other high-volume global brands” since 2009 and has increased its share of the international marketplace to 6.3 percent.
“The strongest lineup of cars, trucks and crossovers in Chevrolet’s history delivered record-breaking sales in 2011 and equally impressive results in the first quarter of 2012,” said General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson. “To keep our momentum going, GM has more than 20 major vehicle launches in 2012, and some of the most important are Chevrolets, including the Sail in Asia, the Colorado in South America and the Chevrolet Spark in North America.”
Spanning the Globe
Chevrolet’s first-quarter performance was bolstered by notable results in four of its top markets, including:
- United States—Chevy delivered some 448,000 units to American drivers in the first three months of 2012, representing an increase of 7.6 percent.
- China—Growing its business by 1.4 percent in the challenging Chinese market, Chevrolet sold 162,000 vehicles for a first-quarter sales record.
- Europe—Even as the European market fell by 8.7 percent during the first quarter, Chevy expanded its market share to a record 1.36 percent, pushed sales northward by 7.8 percent and counted 55,104 deliveries.
- Mexico—A 14.2 jump in sales in Mexico helped Chevrolet sell 42,000 vehicles through March.
- Argentina—It was another record here, too, as the Bowtie brand enjoyed a robust 21.5 percent sales boost on 41,500 deliveries.
Also notable: More than 60 percent of Chevrolet’s total sales now come from outside the U.S.
The Cars that Count
Chevrolet’s reinvented car lineup has been responsible for most of the brand’s early 2012 success, as new vehicles like the Chevy Cruze, Chevy Sonic, Chevy Spark and new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu were all designed for global audiences, and all are enjoying fairly strong numbers. The Cruze, for example, was the brand’s top seller on an international basis, garnering more than 180,000 sales in the first quarter—a jump of almost 20 percent. Deliveries of the Cruze were up a like amount in the U.S. in March, helping boost its Q1 results by 13.7 percent on sales of 57,083 units.
In addition, the Chevrolet Sonic has already become the No. 2 car in the U.S. subcompact segment—ahead of rivals like the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit—on the strength of 21,863 Q1 sales during its first full year on the market.
Drivers can expect the full 2013 Malibu lineup and the new Spark to reach American dealerships later this year; remember, the 37-mpg 2013 Malibu Eco is on sale in this country now.