The first-generation Chevrolet Equinox was GM’s earliest attempt at a mainstream crossover. The vehicle, which made its market debut in 2005, wasn’t particularly impressive — and was by no means a sales leader. So you could imagine our excitement when General Motors unveiled and subsequently launched its second-generation Equinox and its platform-mate, the GMC Terrain, in 2009 as 2010 models — both of which represented huge improvements over the first-gen ‘Nox, becoming hot commodities in the process.
The second-gen Equinox and first-gen Terrain have become formidable sales leaders in the marketplace, with sales of the two crossovers having grown every year since their launch. In 2009, GM sold 138,248 of the compact/midsize crossovers, and then managed to more than double that to 283,491 in 2011. And through the first nine months of 2012, GM is leading the segment in sales volume — ahead of the Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage/Hyundai Tucson, and the Ford Escape. How’s that for market share?
Earlier today, GM announced that it has produced 1 million models using the Theta architecture that underpins both of the new crossovers — not counting the first-gen Equinox. The 1 millionth CUV was a silver 2013 GMC Terrain out of GM’s CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ontario.
“Small SUVs attract buyers with diverse personal preferences but a common need for space and versatility,” said Alan Batey, vice president of GM Sales, Service and Marketing. “With Equinox and Terrain, we can deliver on those core attributes while offering two very different design and packaging propositions. Chevrolet and GMC are both stronger brands with these vehicles in their showrooms.”
Given the improvements in store for the 2013 model year Equinox and Terrain — including the addition of a 3.6 liter V6 LFX engine making 301 horsepower, Forward Collision Alert system, which was named to Popular Mechanics “Top 10 Tech Breakthrough of 2012″ list, and the introdcution of the Terrain Denali — the models’ success isn’t likely to dwindle anytime soon. We also expect GM to replace the aged 2.4 liter Ecotec in the base Terrain and Equinox with the all-new new 2.5 liter Ecotec I4 unit.
What’s more, KBB predicts that the crossover segment will enjoy an 8-10 percent sales growth by 2015 — a trend that reflects consumers’ desire for fuel-efficient, affordable, and useful cars in a single package. Luckily, GM isn’t resting on its laurels — and rumor has it that the next-generation Equinox and Terrain will make the move to a smaller architecture shared wit the next-gen Chevy Cruze, known internally as D2, while becoming a truly global vehicle.