Aging lineup blamed for declining European sales at Chevrolet

Article by Anita Panait, on June 10, 2013

As the economic crisis in Europe continue to strip consumers of their buying power, vehicle buyers in Europe look for more affordable smaller vehicles. This sales trend should have help Chevrolet push more sales in the region. It is armed with smaller and more affordable models like the Spark/Matiz minicar and the Aveo subcompact.

Sadly, though, Chevrolet took the other way around – sales of its smaller vehicles shrank further in Europe. In the first four months of 2013, Chevrolet only sold 12,245 units of the Spark/Matiz in Europe, for a decline of 37 percent, according to figures from JATO Dynamics. The carmaker also sold only 10,235 units of the Aveo in the January-April 2013 period, for a dive of 44 percent.

The sales declines of these models, which account for almost half of the brand's volume, dragged down Chevrolet’s sales by 33 percent to 45,706 in a European market that shrank only by 7 percent, according to industry body ACEA.

Dismal sales in the first four months of 2013 also resulted to a flinch in its market share to 1.1 percent. In contrast, budget rivals like Dacia and Kia managed to grow in Europe in the first four months of 2013. Dacia posted an 18-percent surge in sales in Europe to 90,162, while Kia logged a 4-percent hike in volume to 112,795.

According to analysts, Chevrolet’s dismal results in Europe could be attributed to the fact that it is offering an aging product lineup as well as it pays little attention on the Europe.

Most of Chevrolet’s vehicles sold in Europe are built by GM Daewoo in South Korea. On the other hand, South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia have design and engineering centers in Germany and sites in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Dacia brand, meanwhile, is based in Romania. According to Ian Fletcher, senior analyst at IHS Automotive, Chevrolet is not helped by products that “aren't going to set the world on fire” compared with Hyundai and Kia. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Topics: europe, chevrolet, sales

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