By Frank S. Washington
Chevrolet Gets No Respect: But It's Still on Track to Sell More Cars and Trucks Than Anybody
Chevrolet is an auto company within itself. It sells cars ranging from the Aveo to the Impala to the Corvette and it is one of a handful of full-line nameplates. With staples like the Silverado, the Tahoe and the Suburban, Chevy sold 1.8 million light trucks last year alone.
Still, it's mildly amazing that with all of the attention that General Motors gets, comparative little light falls on Chevrolet. Through June, Chevy accounted for almost 60 percent of GM's U.S. sales. The bottom line is that GM isn't going anywhere unless Chevy takes it there.
Chevrolet is a giant that gets no respect. When it surpassed Ford in June to become the best-selling nameplate in the U.S., there was hardly a whimper. When it laid out a feasible plan last year to sell 3 million vehicles annually, the response was sort of ho-hum. And with the rollout of redesigns and all-new products this year, coverage has been piecemeal.
Chevy's ascent to the top has been aided by GM's aggressive incentives. Starting with the Cobalt last fall. The HHR and the Impala are just hitting showrooms. And the Corvette Z06 comes to market this fall.
I doubt that the car-buying public thinks of a Corvette as a Chevrolet. The Z06 has a reported 0-60-mph time of 3.7 seconds in first gear. But interested enthusiasts will have to go to a Chevy dealership to get a look at the new 'Vette.
What they'll find there, in addition to the HHR and the Impala, is a freshened Malibu, Malibu Maxx and Monte Carlo. And they'll be told that every quarter next year, Chevy will introduce a redesigned light truck. It'll start with the Tahoe in January, then the Suburban, the Avalanche and the Silverado.