GM says that the bowtie-brand achieved sales growth in four of its five top markets, with the United States posting the biggest increase at 416,505 vehicles sold in the first quarter, a 23 percent increase compared to 2010. Chevy also saw double-digit gains in China (159,303 sold/17 percent increase) and Mexico (37,291 sold/12 percent increase). Among the brand’s biggest markets, Brazil was the only one to experience a decrease in sales with 142,734 units sold, 9 percent lower compared to last year.
According to GM, the Cruze is Chevy’s top seller for the quarter with 150,652 sold worldwide. GM predicts a big sales boost once it releases the hatchback version of the global vehicle, set to go on sale this summer in Europe. And last month we heard rumors that GM’s Holden division out in Australia is brewing up a Cruze SS, which could be another sales hit and, if executed properly, could steal some thunder from Ford’s upcoming Focus ST.
In addition to the Cruze variants, Chevrolet expects to gain big numbers from its Spark mini-car and the Sonic/Aveo small car, which is already out in a few markets and will reach our shores soon. Also important to Chevy is the updated Malibu sedan. GM is set to unveil the Malibu today at 8:30 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) via the web (http://www.facebook.com/chevrolet). The web unveil coincides with this week’s Shanghai Auto Show, underlining the importance of China in GM’s global growth strategy.
Korea is another key Asian market for Chevrolet, where it has replaced GM Daewoo as GM’s main brand. Chevy has recently launched several models in the country including the Orlando, Spark and Cruze.