The Chevrolet Cruze is a sweetheart of a car. Especially the high-mpg Eco model. And it’s been selling well, very well. For September 2012, it outsold its entire class, posting 25,787 total sales. That’s a 42.5 percent year-over-year gain, and 180,600 sales year to-date. Yet, it’s been virtually unchanged in America since it launched in late 2009, let alone when it was rolled out outside North America in 2008.
It seems that the compact car market as a whole was hot for September, with even the Toyota Corolla up 42.6 percent year-over-year and Honda Civic even more so with an increase of 57 percent thanks to a new model released earlier this year. The Honda, however, is currently king of the compact hill overall, and is outselling the Cruze year-to-date by nearly 54,000 units.
So, what’s with the sudden sales jumps? As far as the Cruze is concerned, it may have something to do with the deals offerred during September 2012, one of which was 0% APR financing for 48 months for qualified buyers, and the other was a low-mileage, 24,000 mile lease for just $149/month for 24 months, with $1,709 due at signing (after all offers). Offers like these, which are still being offered as of this writing, will indeed keep customers coming into Chevy dealerships.
The counter-offers from Honda are two-fold: a 36-month Civic lease asking $159.00 per month, with $1,999.00 total due at signing, as well as a zero-due-at-signing, $0 first month’s payment, $220.00 per month for 35 months.
We also would like to remind everyone that a refreshed Cruze and a Cruze diesel are expected next year. So is The General beginning to empty its clip to reload? Perhaps, but the 42.5 percent year-over-year jump was also driven by a big jump in fleet sale. In fact, 39 percent of Cruze models were sold to fleets last month, up 30 percent from August. We’ll see if the trend continues in October.