By Michael Wayland | MLive.com MLive.com
The Detroit automaker this morning reported it sold 1.1 million Chevrolet vehicles worldwide in the first three months of 2011, a 15-percent increase over the first quarter of 2010 and the brand’s best first-quarter results ever.
“This is a great way to kick off Chevrolet’s Centennial year,” said Joel Ewanick, GM global chief marketing officer, in a statement today. “Our first-quarter results are a clear indication that consumers are responding to our new product line, which only happens when you truly listen to the customer.”
This year, the Cruze became Chevrolet’s best-selling model. Chevrolet sold 150,652 of the sedans during the first quarter of 2011 – a 117-percent increase over the first quarter of 2010.
Propelled by the Cruze, Ewanick touted increasing sales numbers in key markets — including South America, Europe, and Asia — which helped propel overall sales.
The numbers come shortly after GM officials announced plans to introduce more than 60 new and upgraded models in China as a bid to double sales there by 2015 to about 5 million vehicles.
April 18, The Detroit News: ” ‘There will be substantial investment here in China,’ said Tim Lee, president of GM International Operations, after a news conference today (in Shanghai).”
GM’s planned investments overseas correlates with Ford Motor Co.’s future plans.
Last week, Ford officials announced its plans to introduce 15 new vehicles in China in the next four years and add 1,200 new jobs, as part of its unprecedented expansion in Asia.
Ford expects 70 percent of its growth in the next ten years to come from its Asia Pacific and Africa region.
As both Detroit automakers battle for China’s growing market, both are looking to win “the pony car wars” here.
April 18, The Detroit Free Press: “Last year, Camaro outsold Mustang for the first time since 1985. Through March, Camaro has sold 19,972 cars to Mustang’s 15,419. The Dodge Challenger is gaining steam but still a distant third, with 9,742 sales.”
The Free Press reports the Camaro — which returned in 2009 after a seven-year absence — is likely to rule 2011.
Officials say the Camaro is still new to the market compared to the Mustang, ” which hasn’t had a total overhaul since 2004.”