Chevrolet Sells 1.1 Million Vehicles in Best-Ever First Quarter

Note: Although this has mostly to do with cars, not trucks, I insert this press release because of the stark contrast of position from such a short time ago. Then to top that off, to claim it is the best first quarter EVER? Wow! I take this as a wonderful bit of encouragement and recovery.

April 18, 2011 DETROIT – Chevrolet sold 1.1 million vehicles worldwide in the first three months of 2011, a 15-percent increase over the first quarter of 2010 and the brand’s best first-quarter results ever.

"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.”

Chevrolet grows momentum around the world

Last year, Chevrolet was the only top-five global vehicle brand to grow total market share – accounting for about 5.8 percent 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 in the quarter, an increase of 23 percent. In February, Chevrolet was the highest-volume brand in the U.S. market.

· In China, Chevrolet sold a record 159,303 vehicles in the quarter, an increase of 17 percent.

· In Brazil, Chevrolet sold 142,734 vehicles in the quarter, a decrease of 9 percent from the brand’s record-setting sales in the first quarter of 2010.

· In Mexico, Chevrolet sold 37,291 vehicles in the quarter, an increase of 12 percent.

In Argentina, Chevrolet sold 34,103 vehicles in the first quarter, an increase of 21 percent. Chevrolet set three consecutive sales records in the South American country, recording the brand’s best January, February and March sales.

In Europe, Chevrolet sold 112,482 vehicles in the first quarter, an increase of 7 percent. 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 percent and 51 percent, 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 percent 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 roll 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.”

Cruze leads Chevrolet global nameplates

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-percent 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 percent of all compact cars are hatchback models.

The Cruze will soon be joined by the new Chevrolet Spark mini-car and Aveo/Sonic small car – both of which are already on sale in some markets and will be introduced in additional countries throughout 2011 and 2012. In addition, the all-new Chevrolet Malibu midsize car will soon arrive at dealerships.

Chevrolet will unveil the new Malibu live today, starting at 8:30 p.m. EDT at http://www.facebook.com/chevrolet. The Web reveal will also be streamed live on iPad and iPhone mobile devices. The timing of the Web reveal coincides with the auto show debut of the new Malibu in Shanghai.

With the addition of the new Malibu, Chevrolet continues to grow its global family of fuel-efficient cars. Together, the Spark, Aveo/Sonic, Cruze, Volt, and Malibu compete in the four largest vehicle segments in the world, which accounted for 54 percent of all non-luxury sales in 2010.

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