General Motors and Chevrolet took a hit this year over the millions of vehicles recalled over a faulty ignition switch and numerous other issues, but strong sales and high transaction prices on its full-size trucks and SUVs has turned what otherwise would have been a rough year into one which Chevy boss Brian Sweeney describes as “consistent.”
Sweeney told The Detroit Free Press the 3,100 dealers and their service departments handling the repairs of 26.8 million Chevys have been “extraordinary throughout the recall debacle. The dealers have been referring customers with recalled Cobalts or Malibus to new models, offering them test drives if their repair takes a few hours.
Chevrolet’s sales are up 3.1% in the first 11 months of 2014, off base with the industry jump of 5.4%, but the automaker has more than made up for by selling high profit vehicles. Silverado sales are up 8% year-over-year, while Tahoe sales are up 15.5%. Sweeney is also happy with initial interest in the mid-size Colorado, and is even more delighted with its $33,000 average transaction price.
Falling gas prices have especially boosted sales of full-size vehicles in the closing months of 2014, but it’s a bittersweet development for Chevy. The brand is ramping up to introduce the next-generation Volt in Detroit, and low gas prices could hinder consumer interest in the all-new extended range EV. Sweeney says they remain confident in the car’s success, especially in markets like California.