Those following General Motors on a daily basis here at GM Authority will find it as no surprise that the automaker is on a mission to increase sales of its mainstay Chevrolet brand around the world. And since more than 60 percent of total Chevy sales come from outside the U.S. market, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the brand’s top markets around the world; so in descending order for the first six months of 2012:
Chevrolet sold 1.3 million cars in the second quarter of 2012, a 2.3 percent increase over the same time period last year — which was also a record-setting quarter. In addition, the second quarter of 2012 was the seventh consecutive quarter of record-braking sales for Chevy — which is quite an achievement given the depressed economic conditions of some global markets.
As far as models go, the Cruze sold 350,000 units during the first six months of 2012 — making it the best-selling Chevy nameplate around the world. The Cruze has also sold more than 1.65 million units since its launch in late 2008.
But there is still a huge dichotomy in the brand’s sales in the U.S. and those in Europe. For the first six months of 2012, Chevy sold a whopping 961,662 vehicles in the United States compared to 117,500 in Europe, where the Aveo (Sonic) is the most popular model with 34,000 units. The good news, however, is that Chevy’s popularity is growing quickly in Europe — the 117,500 units it sold in the first half of 2012 represents a 10.9 percent increase over the same time period last year.
And while Chevy’s success in its top three markets — the U.S., Brazil, and China is obvious and apparent, it may not be as obvious to see Russia on the list. Surprisingly, Chevy has been Russia’s best-selling foreign automotive brand for five years and is the fourth most popular market for Chevrolet vehicles, with 173,484 units sold in 2011. More importantly, Chevy sold 115,755 vehicles in Russia from January to July 2012, denoting handsome year-over-year growth in the market — a trend that will likely only continue given GM’s rampant investment in Russia (and for good measure).
However, the Bow Tie brand still faces several barriers to reaching its highest potential sales volume globally, one of which is its Opel/Vauxhall brands, which for the last few years have been subject to what seems like constant restructuring measures; another is Holden. So while Toyota is trending to move nearly 9 million vehicles globally in 2012, Chevy would be lucky to sell half of that. And that is to say that people around the world will see 4.5 million more Toyotas than Chevys on the roads.