LAS VEGAS -- General Motors, seeking to gain market share this year, is gunning for a 13 percent U.S. sales increase for Chevrolet.
GM expects Chevrolet to increase its market share in 2012, executives told dealers at the make meeting. Last year Chevrolet's U.S. sales rose 14 percent. Strong sales of the Cruze and other sedans drove growth.
"The message basically was that there's no reason why we shouldn't gain market share this year because we've got momentum," said Tom Brittain, owner of Brittain Motors in East Palestine, Ohio.
Chris Perry, Chevrolet's vice president of global marketing, declined to comment on specific sales targets discussed with dealers beyond saying: "We talked about some tactical initiatives for how we can maintain our momentum."
Car sales will be key again this year. Chevy will launch a redesigned Malibu this spring, and the Spark minicar arrives this summer.
Last week, GM launched a $349 a month, $2,499 down lease promotion on the Chevy Volt in a bid to revive sales of the plug-in hybrid. They have slowed since a now-closed federal investigation of two post-crash fires linked to the car's battery pack. The previous lease was $399 a month with $2,999 down.
GM's U.S. market share grew to 19.6 percent last year, from 19.1 percent in 2010. Chevrolet's U.S. market share rose to 13.9 percent last year, from 13.5 percent in 2010.
Chevrolet also expects truck sales to remain strong, despite the fact that its Silverado pickup and Suburban and Tahoe SUVs are nearing the end of their life cycles.
GM is expected to show Chevrolet dealers the redesigned Silverado this fall at a national dealers' meeting here. It is due out in early 2013.