General Motors posted a 7-percent gain in sales in June 2013 in the United States, helped by strong demand for Chevrolet's pickups and small cars. The carmaker posted a 9-percent drop in fleet sales, but was able to offset it with strong retail sales, which surged 14 percent. GM executives attributed the decline in fleet sales to the timing of customer deliveries.
Chevrolet posted a 7-percent growth in sales in June 2013 to 193,460 units, which is its highest monthly result since September 2007. GM posted a 29-percent rise in sales of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup, which is its top-selling vehicle in the US.
According to GM, prices for the Silverado and GMC Sierra remained strong despite a selldown of the 2013 models, as it paves way for the redesigned 2014 models. GM said that the 2014 models -- launched in May --accounted for around 10 percent of the 59,827 pickups sold in June 2013. GM's overall pickup incentives remained almost the same as last year, while average transaction prices hiked by $1,300.
Kurt McNeil, U.S. sales operations chief, remarked that they are in a "pretty good place from an inventory standpoint and a production standpoint," on the pickup transition. Chevrolet also posted record sales for its Cruze compact, (up 73 percent to 32,871 units) and the Equinox crossover (up 14 percent to 23,645 units).
Strong sales for the nameplates were attributed to Chevrolet's incentive program implemented in May and June on both vehicles and the Malibu.
According to a memo to Chevrolet dealers, GM gave dealers $500 for every five units of Cruze, Equinox and Malibu on their lots as of May 1, 2013. Dealers could apply those in $250 increments, with a maximum of $500 for Cruze sale, $750 for Equinox and $1,000 for Malibu. Chevrolet sales boss Don Johnson attributed the Cruze's strong results to higher fleet sales.
Bryan Nesbitt, executive director for GM exterior design and Chevrolet Brand Champion, remarked that the new Chevrolet Malibu injects a sense of sportiness into the family sedan segment, thanks to the fact that its exterior carries the design DNA of the Camaro and Corvette.
This design DNA could be seen through the Malibu’s broad shoulders, wider stance and its integrated rear spoiler. The sportiness of the new Malibu also comes from the fact that, compared to its predecessor, its wheelbase is shorter by 4.5 inches (114 mm) while its front and rear tracks (62 inches or 1,574 mm) are wider by 2 inches (51 mm).
Also defining the exterior appearance of the new Malibu are design cues like Chevrolet's dual-port grille as flanked by projector HID headlamps and larger Chevrolet bow-tie badges both on the front and rear, as well as new LED dual-element taillamps that take inspiration from the Camaro. The brand is making available an assortment of wheels with sizes ranging from 17 inches to 19 inches.
Chevrolet expects the exterior of the new Malibu to be SAE-certified as one of the most aerodynamically efficient vehicles in its segment, as it boasts of coefficient of drag (Cd) value near that of the Volt (.280 Cd). Interestingly, engineers were able to get rid of 60 counts of wind drag -- compared to its predecessor – thanks to the Malibu’s new shape and design.
Moreover, select versions of the new Malibu in North America come with electronically controlled and integrated active aero shutters that improve both aerodynamics and fuel economy without having to compromise its exterior design.