Late in 2016, Chevrolet became the best-selling brand in the United States of America for the first time in 5 years. The top spot has been hotly contested by Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota for years, and a scale back in production by Ford, not to mention an October recall, and put Chevrolet in the top spot. However, the big question is whether or not Chevrolet can take back the top spot this year.
As car sales decline in 2017, what’s it going to take for top auto brands to stay competitive and weather the storm? Chevrolet has a rich and storied past as one of America’s favorite car manufacturers, and while the details change, if Chevrolet maintains its focus on the priorities that have made its vehicles hits in the past, it can weather the storm of rocky sales and come out ahead a year or two from now.
The best-selling Chevrolet ever, and in fact, the model that continues to hold the record for highest sales in a single year, is the Chevrolet Impala. In 1965, more than one million units were sold and no model has yet to beat this number. The Impala was long, wide, and luxurious at an affordable price, making it an easy pick for families. It also delivered a unique look that remains instantly recognizable, though almost every year delivered a new signature appearance. After a long period of stability in the 2000s, a new revamp of the Impala came in 2014 that injected new life into the classic model.
The Malibu was first launched in 1964, just as the Impala was reaching its stride, to compete with the success of muscle cars like the Mustang. While it’s evolved a long way from its origins in the 1960s, it’s relaunch in 1997 put the emphasis back on younger drivers, including better safety features and tracking. Today, the Chevrolet Malibu also offers a hybrid Eco version for a new generation of environmentally-conscious drivers. The Malibu has always appealed to youth and in the 21st century, younger drivers have different values. Their image-consciousness isn’t just about having a fun and spirited car, they also want to drive something that’s environmentally responsible.
A newer entry into Chevrolet’s lineup, the Equinox has stayed strong where other models have seen sales decline this year. In May 2017, the Equinox sold 20,908 units in the United States compared to 21,252 in May 2016, while February, March, and April 2017 all saw sales improve over the same period last year. The Equinox is no doubt buoyed by the growing dominance of the compact crossover.
There have been plenty more successful Chevrolet vehicles, but no look at the manufacturer’s success would be complete without the Silverado, an amenity-packed pickup that began in the heavy-duty sector and evolved into a luxury pickup that still packs the power of a workhorse. Still packing an impressive style change from 2016 that screams power, the Silverado imposes the kind of confidence and authority Chevrolet needs to maintain as it navigates what could be a lengthy recovery for auto sales in the U.S.