GM eked out a 1% sales boost in February, thanks to Chevrolet

Article by Christian A., on March 2, 2012

General Motors was able to achieve a 1% increase in sales last month, aided by the strong demand from commercial customers and the recent model debuts like the Chevrolet Sonic. The sales boost came almost entirely from Chevrolet. According to the GM executives, the result was better than what they expected provided that the 46% sales increase experienced in February 2011 were due to incentives.

Most of the analysts had forecasted that the February sales of the automaker would decline from year-earlier levels. GM's vice president of U.S. sales, Don Johnson, recognized the unexpected strength in the economy and the strong demand for newer models, many of which are more fuel-efficient and smaller. In a conference call with reporters and analysts, Johnson revealed that the improving economic fundamentals and "great product" are "really driving" their business.

Furthermore, GM was able to sell 7,900 units of Chevy Sonic last month. The figure is almost three times the year-earlier sales of the Aveo, which is the vehicle that Chevy Sonic replaced. The February result is also the highest mark since the vehicle was released in August. Chevy Cruze sales were 20,427 units. This is the first time that the Cruze surpassed the 20,000 mark since August.

Johnson pointed to the increase in small-car sales for the success of its new offerings instead of the rise in gasoline prices in the entire month. He added that almost 40% of the overall sales of GM came from automobiles that get more than 30 mpg on the highway compared to 16% three years ago.

He further stated that the strength of their "broad-based portfolio" is what was assisting them in achieving the figures. The positive results are also attributed to the sales to commercial customers like the farmers and contractors, which increased by 35%. Heavy-duty variants of the GMC Sierra and Chevy Silverado pickups leaped 20% percent and 28%, respectively.

One significant change in the Chevrolet Silverado is that the 6-speed transmission has been modified to make sure that when the vehicle is under normal mode, the transmission is able to downshift especially when decelerating. In order to do this, the braking is aided by the engine compression. As a result, the Silverado is able to slow down more effectively and thus lowers the possibility of brake wear.

This is the model’s Cruise Grade Braking which can work out of and within the Tow/Haul mode. It is also fitted to the 1500 models, especially the one with 5.3-liter engines or the 6.2-liter V8 ones. In addition to this braking system, there are a number of comprehensive features aimed at enhancing control and confidence. An example is the trailer sway control that utilizes trailer brakes and truck brakes.

Powertrain controls are available, allowing both the vehicle, as well as the trailer, to be always on the right path. Both of these controls are now part of what is known as the StabiliTrak. Part as well is the Hill Start Assist, which ensured that the Silverado does not roll-back as it prepares to sprint uphill.

The various technical features in the Silverado are limited to performance as there are those that improve not only work but even the fun factor. The navigation radio for example is new and aside from having a better display, includes a hard drive and thus removes the need for any discs that have map data. Exclusive to the Silverado is the OnStar Directions & Connections that comes with the Turn-by-Turn Navigation and even the Automatic Crash Response.

Included as well is the SiriusXM satellite radio. Connectivity is available for both USB and Bluetooth. Customers can also get the WiFi provided by Autonet and made available by authorized Chevrolet dealers. With this, the Silverado is able to become a mobile hot spot as if it’s a workplace constantly on the move. It not only allows occupants full internet access while inside as it also makes access possible for at most 150 feet away from the vehicle.

For those who plan to use the Silverado for work, the Chevy WiFi allows for immediate access to different ordering sites online and even municipal sites where one can study building codes and even apply for permits. It can also function as a family vehicle where members can use the internet to stay connected with friends through social media sites. They can even stream videos or use maps and determine the weather.

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Topics: gm, sales, chevrolet

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