USA 2013: Expect the new Chevrolet Impala to take a dive…
* See the full article by clicking on the title! *
General Motors expert at Automotive News Mike Colias recently wrote an interesting article about sales of the Chevrolet Impala in 2013 which I thought I would mention here because this is an interesting ‘profit over volume’ story that we have seen pop up here and there lately notably at Renault in France. The 2014 Impala will go on sale this April in the US, but instead of shooting up as a result, expect sales of the model to take a deep dive for the rest of 2013. Why?
Simply because General Motors has vowed to restrict less-profitable sales to fleet and rental companies and target the retail end of the market, in other words the ‘real consumer’, much more profitable. A whopping 75% of the 169,351 Impalas sold last year went to fleet buyers and rental agencies, a ratio General Motors wants to reduce to 30%, trying to execute a 180-degree turn from the rental-car special that the once-proud nameplate has devolved into over the past decade.
This is a total turnaround for the model and sales will suffer. If GM is true to its prediction and even if retail sales of the Impala increase by 50% year-on-year in 2013 (which would be an outstanding achievement) we would arrive at 64,000 retail and 91,000 total sales, down a disastrous 46% on 2012. The temptation is high for carmakers to bump up volume as this is the first data point communicated each month as you all readers of BSCB know very well. But is GM fooling itself?
See the full article below.
On paper it seems like a reasonable if drastic target for GM, pursuing a brand-building strategy and willing to sacrifice volume for better profitability and the boost to the Chevy brand of selling an eye-catching flagship sedan. However Mike Colias says an increase in retail sales won’t come easy: “the 2014 Impala will sticker for $4,000-$7,000 more than its predecessor, which means Chevy could lose many of its most loyal buyers: Value-conscious older folks looking for basic transportation. It’ll require Chevy dealers to go out and find a new breed of Impala customer”.
And that IS extremely hard to achieve.
I will ensure I keep this new GM strategy in mind when commenting on monthly US sales this year…