Chevy expects 7% sales gain with new lineup
ORLANDO -- General Motors executives told Chevrolet dealers at the make meeting that they expect the brand's sales to increase 7 percent this year as Chevy rolls out 13 new or refreshed models, dealers said.
That projected sales gain would be in line with the industrywide pace if sales hit 15.5 million units, the high end of the 2013 sales forecast that GM set at the start of the year, dealers were told.
But Chevy's projection could end up exceeding 7 percent if sales rise more sharply than originally forecast, dealers were told. Executives said the company's internal forecasts show a possibility of 16 million in industry volume this year, dealers said.
GM believes that a stronger housing market and the recent tax deal that temporarily resolved the federal government's so-called fiscal cliff should offset negative factors, such as an increase in payroll taxes, and result in improved consumer confidence, dealers were told.
Last year, Chevy sales increased 4 percent to 1.85 million, trailing the market's overall 13 percent growth.
Growth this year should come from launches of new vehicles, including the redesigned 2014 Impala, which will arrive in April, marketing chief Chris Perry told reporters after the meeting. Other key redesign debuts include the 2014 Corvette Stingray, due out by late summer, and the next-generation Silverado full-sized pickup, expected in showrooms by June.
Dealers were shown two new anthem TV commercials that mark the debut of the brand's "Find New Roads" global marketing campaign. The 90- and 60-second spots include vignettes of the Impala, Corvette, Volt, Sonic and Spark that offer a glimpse of future stand-alone commercials for those cars, Perry said.
Martin NeSmith, owner of two Chevrolet-Buick-GMC stores in Georgia, believes the commercials are an improvement over much of the advertising that ran under the "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign, which recently was phased out after more than two years.
"It's better, but I'm not sure it's a game-changer," NeSmith said. "Chevy seems to have been really weak on marketing in the past eight months. They just can't seem to get a clear message out there."
GM executives also stressed the importance of stronger Malibu sales and said they're working to "re-energize" the mid-sized sedan through marketing and a previously disclosed refresh set to debut late in the year, dealers said.
The changes to the car will include a new front end that will be similar to that of the Impala, Bob Krapes, manager of business planning for Chevy, said after the meeting. The Impala's front end has a wider, deeper grille with flared-back headlamps, doing away with the two-tier grille that has adorned most Chevy models for most of the past decade.
• GM bullish on industry sales; sees 16 million in sight
• Plans to “re-energize” the Malibu
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