The Chevy Silverado is GM’s top-selling pickup truck among Hispanic buyers in the U.S., as revealed during a manufacturer presentation this week attended by GM Authority.
In one way, this is not surprising, since the Chevy Silverado is also the best-selling GM vehicle of any kind in this country, accounting for 34 percent of Chevrolet sales and 23 percent of all GM sales in the U.S. in 2020.
However, there may be more to it than this. Chevrolet trucks have historically been popular in Latin America, but they can be difficult to acquire. The Chevy Silverado in particular will soon be introduced in both Argentina and Brazil, two countries in which the only Chevy pickups available right now are the S10 (the local name for the Colorado) and the much smaller Montana. The Silverado can, however, be purchased in Mexico and Chile, and has recently arrived in Uruguay.
But here’s the problem. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), average annual wages in those countries are far lower than they are in the U.S. (at least in 2019, but the situation will not have changed much since then). The Silverado is correspondingly much more expensive there than it is here.
|Average annual wage 2019||Chevy Silverado base price January 2021|
In the U.S., the average annual wage was $65,386 in 2019, and the base price for a Chevy Silverado is $30,595 today. The Chilean annual wage was 41 percent lower at $26,916, while the starting price for a Silverado is the equivalent of $51,729. The entry-level Silverado is only slightly more expensive in Mexico than in the U.S., at $31,265, but the 2019 average wage was just $17,594, or 27 percent of what it was here.
An additional factor is that financing a vehicle purchase is much easier in the U.S. than it is in Latin American countries.
Although there is some speculation going on here, it could very well be that Hispanic customers who previously lived in countries where buying a Chevy Silverado would have been extremely difficult, if the truck was even available there at all, now find that it has become relatively easy on U.S. wages. Those who respond to this by placing an order have helped prolong the success of Chevrolet’s most successful pickup.