General Motors won’t take the usual approach for the Oct. 15 launch of the new subcompact Chevrolet Sonic as the automaker seeks to appeal to younger Americans. The advertising campaign for the Sonic, which starts selling in the fall, will feature bungee jumping and skydiving.
GM considers the Sonic as a crucial model in its goal to lessen its dependence on gas-guzzling big SUVs and pickup trucks amid high fuel prices. IHS Automotive analyst Rebecca Lindland said that this vehicle will be able to maintain the momentum GM's small-car models.
IHS said that U.S. sales in the U.S. subcompact segment are expected to more than double by 2016 to 925,000 cars each year from an estimated 411,000 units this year.
IHS believes that sales of Sonic units will be able to go as high as 80,000 units annually. Meanwhile, the Ford Motor Co. Fiesta is expected to reach 115,000. Ford is applauded for paving the way among U.S. car companies in using social media for its marketing.
Cristi Landy, director of Chevy marketing, said that there are plenty of new entries in the segment, which includes the Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris. Lindland said that any move that GM will be able to expand its brand image through any move that creates buzz with the younger generation.
GM may also be able to earn more profits on vehicles that didn’t make much money previously. Edmunds.com analyst Bill Visnic said that this class has many new products that can’t be categorized as cheap. Regular production for the Sonic, which is priced at $14,495, has started at a Detroit area plant in early August. It’s expected to hit full production in 2012.
The all-new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic has made its presence felt at the 2011 North American International Auto Show with its aggressive design, turbocharged dynamics and agile handling. Available either as a four-door sedan or a five-door, the new Chevrolet Sonic offers best-in-class rear-seat space and cargo room. It also offers an array of connectivity features that could further improve the driving experience.
Chevrolet will start to build the new Chevrolet Sonic in 2011 at the General Motors Orion Assembly Center in Michigan. The carmaker invested around $545 million to upgrade and retool the facility, thereby restoring around a thousand jobs in the metro Detroit area. Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing, quipped that the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic fuses the practicality offered by small cars and the passion for driving provided for by Chevrolet vehicles such as the Corvette.
He added that the new Sonic fuses excellent design and fun driving experience, as well as the latest connectivity features. Perry noted that Chevrolet is the only carmaker that builds a small car in the United States, adding that the new Sonic would bring more substance to the small car segment and would change perceptions of what such vehicles could be in the country. Both the Chevrolet Sonic sedan and five-door models exude not only strength and stability but also refinement.
Its wide stance and wheels-at-the-corners proportions imply outstanding performance while its raked body lines suggest movement even at standstill. For the 2012 model year, the new Sonic is laden with the brand’s global design cues like its dual-element grille and round taillamps.
It also sports an array of aggressive design cues like its motorcycle-derived round headlamps and fender flares. Moreover, the principal edge of the hood gives rise to a character line just above the headlamps. On the other hand, the profile of the new Sonic is marked by continuous body lines, low roofline and a high beltline, as well as side mirrors that are shaped like the car itself.