It seems that General Motors Co.’s assertive new-product drive in Brazil is really paying off as the carmaker’s Chevrolet Cruze compact cars has become one of the hottest items in the country this year. Chevrolet dealerships in Brazil are feeling the heat too. Nessim Azar, an owner of some Chevrolet dealerships in Sao Paulo, told Bloomberg that the Chevrolet Cruze is very popular. In fact, Azar’s showrooms were able to sell 100 Cruze compact cars in September. GM rolled out the Cruze in Brazil late last year as part of its most aggressive new-product thrust ever in the country, as well as part of its plans to become profitable again in South America.
The GM’s effort is underscored by seven new vehicles available for sale in 2012, including the subcompact Onix will be show at the Sao Paulo auto show this week. Gustavo Colossi, Chevrolet marketing director for Brazil, told Bloomberg that this is the first time they are selling seven new vehicles in one year.
GM is hoping that its new-product push in Brazil would allow it to turn around its operations in South America as soon as possible, as sales situation in other markets like the crisis-laden Europe and slumping China begin to eat to affect its profits. Currently, GM is banking on its strong performance in the US to remain profitable. Brazil accounted for 58 percent of GM’s sales in South America in the first half of 2011. GM’s South American operations posted $122 million in operating losses in 2011 after logging an $818 million profit in 2010.