RICK KRANZ

Chevy's newest U.S. model to skip showrooms

The compact Captiva crossover is assembled in Mexico and destined for U.S. fleet customers -- allowing Chevy to sell more Equinox units at retail. Photo credit: GM
Rick Kranz is product editor for Automotive News.

Here's a little news nugget from the October sales report about a vehicle that won't be seen in a Chevrolet showroom.

The model is designated "fleet vehicle," and once it arrives on U.S. soil, each is shipped to a rental car customer, wherever.

I'm talking about the Chevrolet Captiva Sport.

The Captiva Sport is a compact crossover assembled in Mexico that is kind of a substitute for the Equinox.

Confused?

Simply, the Equinox is too successful to "waste" sales to fleets with discounted prices. Equinox production has been ramped up several times and some dealers still can't get enough of these priced-right Chevys. So GM has made the Captiva the preferred crossover so to speak for some fleets. The first Captiva Sports – some 2,140 models -- were delivered last month.

The Captiva Sport is a good solution for GM.

Theoretically, the automaker last month made 2,140 retail consumers happy, those wanting an Equinox. GM did not have to offer a fleet discount on a popular vehicle, meaning better margins per vehicle. And, GM added production to a plant that had excess capacity.

To me that's a win-win solution.

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