High demand for the Chevrolet Equinox is music to the ears of General Motors executives and employees. In fact, GM is scrambling to meet demand for the midsize-compact CUV and is in the process of expanding capacity at its Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada plant – but more on that in a bit.
Increases In Average Transaction Prices
The average transaction price of the new-for-2010 Equinox is about $26,500, which is $4,800 higher than the outgoing model. According to Chevrolet General Manager Jim Campbell, it’s also $3,900 more than competing models. Apparently, the Equinox’s content, perceived value, and styling is “really resonating” with consumers, said Campbell.
Four Cylinder Most Popular Powerplant
More than 80 percent of Equinox buyers opt for the 2.4 liter four-cylinder ECOTEC engine (good for 182 hp, 172 lb.-ft. torque) as opposed to the optional V6 mill (that produces 264 hp, 222 lb.-ft. torque). Both engines are direct injected, available in front wheel- or all-wheel drive configurations, and are mated to GM’s six-speed automatic transmission.
For comparison’s sake, buyers of the Equinox’s brother, the GMC Terrain, favor the six-cylinder to the four-banger at a 60:40 ratio.
Increasing Production Capacity
GM is spending more than $90 million on an initiative to boost production of the Equinox and its platform mate, the GMC Terrain. The multi-phase project consists of a retool and a body shop upgrade to GM’s Ingersoll, Ontario assembly plant – a move that’s expected to boost output from 795 vehicles to 996 units a day by August 2.
The second phase entails shipping 300 Equinox body assemblies per day from Ingersoll to GM’s Oshawa, Ontario plant about an hour away, where the vehicles will undergo final assembly.
June sales of the Equinox increased by 179.7 percent compared to 2009 levels and GM can’t seem to get the Theta-based crossovers to consumers fast enough.
[Source: Wards Auto]
“If we could, we would – believe me,” Steve Carlisle, Vice President of product planning said during a sales briefing for analysts and journalists earlier in the month.