USA: Chevy's Midsize Car Lineup Beats Major Competitors

By Press Release | 22 September 2000

Chevrolet's midsize passenger car lineup has earned a greater percentage increase of sales and market share than its major competitors for the year 2000 through August.

The Chevy lineup -- including Impala, Monte Carlo and Malibu -- has posted combined sales (351,831) for the period that have increased 14.4 percent from the year-ago timespan. Additionally, Chevy's share of the midsize car market, the auto industry's largest vehicle segment, has increased 1.4 percentage points.

"Chevrolet is proud to have made such strong strides in the very important midsize car market segment," said Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet General Manager. "Truck sales are booming in the auto industry, but the largest vehicle segment in the industry is still midsize passenger cars."

For the calendar year through August, the industry's midsize car sales are more than 2.8 million units, which is 27 percent more than either sport utility vehicle sales or pickup truck sales.

Chevy's midsize car lineup has also contributed significantly to its four- percent increase in passenger car sales for 2000 through August (632,473 units). Individual midsize models have several claims to fame:

Impala is among the top dozen best-selling cars in the U.S. for 2000 through August with 121,340 sales, a 306-percent increase compared with the same period last year. Customers are so impressed with the Impala look that they give styling as their number one reason for buying Impala, according to Chevrolet research. Safety also rated among the top few reasons customers gave for buying Impala, which earned the highest possible rating (five stars) in front impact testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).

Impala has been so popular since Chevrolet introduced it in the spring of 1999 that Chevrolet has not offered it with special cash or financing incentives. Impala gets even better for 2001 by offering the General Motors (NYSE: GM) OnStar system, which uses satellite technology and attentive personal service to provide an unparalleled level of safety, security and information services. At the touch of a button, OnStar advisors can contact emergency assistance or help with directions to restaurants, banks and other destinations 24 hours a day, every day. OnStar is exclusive to GM vehicles.

"Impala has really impressed customers by exceeding their expectations in terms of performance, features and price," Ritter said.

Monte Carlo popularity has been strong enough to make the model the best- selling (48,264) midsize coupe in the nation for 2000 through August. Retail sales for the period (40,777) have increased more than 11 percent, and customers have made the car so popular that it currently has only a 40-day supply on dealer lots. (A 60-day supply is the industry average.)

Monte Carlo has also been selling briskly without incentives (since its introduction in fall 1999), and offers the GM OnStar system, a new High Sport model and an optional sport appearance package for 2001.

Malibu is also on the list of the top ten best-selling cars in the U.S. for 2000 through August with sales of 153,680 units, a more than three-percent increase versus the year-ago period. It is also among the top 10 cars in vehicle registrations at retail (86,857 units for 2000 through July, latest available figures).

Malibu, GM's best-selling midsize sedan, is the only car on the market with standard equipment that includes a V6 engine, automatic transmission, air conditioning, four-wheel antilock brakes and automatic doorlocks with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price of less than $17,600.

"These cars are successful because they epitomize traditional Chevrolet value," Ritter said. "For many people a Chevrolet is not all they can afford but all they want to afford."