It’s no secret the crossover and utility vehicle market has been in a boom. Cheap gas and the fact most crossovers return similar fuel economy numbers to their sedan counterparts mean certain nameplates have gone unloved.
That’s the case with the Chevrolet Trax and Chevrolet Sonic. Automotive News reports the Trax subcompact crossover has seen enormous success since its introduction for the 2014 model year. However, that success comes at the expense of the Sonic; the subcompact sedan and hatch have seen their sales plummet since the Trax’s introduction.
Chevy Sonic sales boomed in 2014 with 93,518 units sold. That same year, the Trax was introduced, and it has eroded the Sonic’s sales down to 55,255 in 2016. The Sonic has sold a measly 11,408 units year to date in 2017.
For GM, there are pros and cons. Lagging sales of the Sonic means inventories are mounting in certain areas. On the flip side, the Trax commands much higher prices than the Sonic. According to Kelley Blue Book data, buyers pay $5,100 more for a Trax than a Sonic. The Trax also commands $1,500 more than a comparable Chevrolet Cruze sedan.
GM isn’t giving up on the segment, though. President Alan Batey said cars like the Sonic help Chevrolet cover all segments and may help the automaker, in the long run, should CUVs and trucks become unpopular with a gasoline price spike.
“You always have to make sure you’re protected against an external environment that no one can predict,” Batey said.
“No one predicted when we were at $4 that we’d be down at $2. You’ve got to have a portfolio of products that really provide you the bandwidth that you need.”