General Motors Co. plans to launch the Chevrolet Trax at the Paris auto show in September and to roll out the small crossover in more than 140 global markets excluding the United States. GM will build the Chevrolet Trax on the Gamma platform that currently underpins the Chevrolet Sonic.
GM will also introduce two other small crossovers built on the Gamma same platform: the Opel Mokka that would roll out by end of 2012 and the Buick Encore that will hit showrooms in early 2013.
According to the company, the main reason for the decision not to roll out the Trax in the US was the success of the larger Chevrolet Equinox crossover. The Buick Encore, which has the same platform as the Trax, is 19 inches shorter than the Equinox and offers less cargo space.
A Chevrolet spokesman disclosed that GM will first introduce the Trax in Mexico in the last quarter of 2012, then in selected countries in Europe and Asia. Dave Sullivan, a product analyst for AutoPacific Inc., expects GM to roll out the Trax in eastern Europe, where a similar product, the Mokka, will not be marketed, thus avoiding product overlapping. The Chevrolet spokesman revealed that GM will assemble the Trax in Korea as well as in other locations.
GM is positioning the Trax to continue the impetus of its flagship Chevrolet brand. Chevrolet posted a 7 percent year-on-year increase in its global sales of for the first three months of 2012 to 1.2 million units. The brand’s unprecedented rise in sales could be partly attributed to the phasing out of the Daewoo brand in Eastern Europe, Korea and other markets where Korea-made vehicles are rolled out under a Chevrolet badge.