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It’s easy to understand why brands that don’t currently offer a compact crossover are bum-rushing the labs to build them.
Pathetic. That’s the only way these numbers could be described were this about any other car, and to a certain extent they still are.
It wasn’t long ago when the best-selling General Motors models greedily guzzled gas, but times have changed due to a large part to rising gas prices.
Now, GM’s fuel-effiicient models rule the roads and in March they have reached a milestone. Last month, GM sold more than 100,000 vehicles that achieve 30 mpg or better.
“GM’s strategic investments in four-cylinder and turbocharged engines, advanced transmissions and vehicle electrification have been very well timed,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM North America. “Three years ago, about 16 percent of the vehicles GM sold achieved at least 30 mpg on the highway. Today, that number is about 40 percent, and we have more new fuel-economy leaders on the way, including the Chevrolet Spark, Cadillac ATS and the Buick Encore.”
This is a huge shift and shows where the market is heading. The cars that make up this new sales record include the Chevrolet Sonic, Cruze, Volt, Malibu, Impala, Equinox and even the V6 Camaro.
In future, GM will be offering more fuel efficient models, like the new Cadillac ATS, which will also offer four-cylinder engines.
Things are good for Korean automaker Hyundai as the month’s end approaches and it sits poised to break an all-time sales record.
With more than 65,000 units expected to sell in the U.S. alone, it’s safe to say the 40-mpg minimum mantra that made many people eager to buy was a success. By how much? March of last year the company sold 61,873 units, meaning Hyundai is set for a roughly 5 percent increased sales volume.
“March is shaping up to be our best sales month ever,” said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America’s executive vice president of national sales. “We expect to sell 50 percent more of our 40-mpg highway vehicles than we sold in March 2011 as customers recognized that Hyundai is the place to shop for the best selection of high mileage cars.”
Chevrolet has sold 2.35 million vehicles globally in the first six months of 2011, setting sales records in all the top five markets. The first six months of 2011 was the best half year performance in Chevrolet’s 100-year history. The American automaker sold 286,499 more vehicles in the first half of 2011 than the same time period of 2010, a 14-percent increase year over year.
The automaker set record first-half sales in several countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, South Africa and Turkey. Chevrolet’s growth has been credited to the new wave of models including the Cruze compact car, Spark mini car, Sonic small car, and Orlando MPV. The Chevy Malibu midsize car and the all-new Colorado compact pickup will soon join the previously mentioned vehicles when they go on sale later this year globally.
There was a time when Hyundai was a back-marker among car companies, and not very highly respected among buyers. Those days are well behind them now as they keep posting record sales year after year.
2010 will go down as an exceptional year for this South Korean manufacturer, as it sold over 200,000 units of its stylish new Sonata in North America alone, which is a record.
Even more importantly, Hyundai delivered over 530,000 vehicles in America with an additional 110,000 vehicles sold in Canada, where it broke all its previous sales records.
John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO said that the “Sonata is the Hyundai brand and it’s appropriate that it has led our best year ever. Sonata’s innovation has reset the most hotly contested, largest segment in the U.S. car market, with Sonata delivering more year-over-year retail sales growth – about 90,000 units – than any other car in the entire industry.”
With attractive styling, good features and prices that start at $18,440 it is not surprising the Sonata has done so well. We wish them an equally good year next year.