General Motors believes the introduction of the new Equinox will help Chevrolet move closer to its goal of surpassing Ford and Toyota to become the top-selling automotive brand in the U.S, said one of Chevy’s top marketing executives.
Chevrolet has generated a great deal of positive momentum during the past two years and GM plans to build on the strength of a growing reputation for delivering quality vehicles that are also represent a good value with the introduction of 2018 Chevrolet Equinox this spring, said Steve Majoros, Chervolet, director of car and crossover marketing, told reporters during an update of the company’s business plans.
Moreover, Chevrolet’s introduction of the new Equinox, which features a fresh design as well as new technology, couldn’t have come at a better time given the rising popularity of compact crossovers, he added.
While Chevrolet would like to attract customers from luxury brands, Chevrolet has priced the Equinox as a good value, Majoros said. Prices start $24,475 for the base model, an increase of $480. But the pricing for the LS and LT versions, including those with all-wheel-drive, have been carried over from the 2017 model year and range from $26,405 to $29,395 before without the destination charge. A diesel-powered version will be added in the fall.
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“Customers in the segment want it all,” he added.
Compact crossover have emerged as the largest fast growing segment in the auto industry, noted Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Cox Automotive’s Autotrader. The segment is expected to continue growing, added Krebs, who noted crossovers are popular with older Baby Boomers and younger buyers from Gen Y.
Majoros added starting in May, GM plans to support the launch of Equinox with a new ad campaign that he described as “ubiquitous” and of extended duration. “You’ll see us everywhere,” he said.
The launch of the Equinox also will benefit the ongoing efforts to build up Chevrolet brand with new products, such as the Colorado and Camaro new financing options and wider use of leasing, the effort is working as Chevrolet’s reputation among consumers is growing stronger, Majoros said.
In addition, a unified marketing campaign that delivers the same message while selling both Chevy cars and its always popular trucks is very effective.
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It’s the first time GM has used the same tag line since 1987 when it used the “Heartbeat of America” in Chevy advertising, Majoros said. In addition, the unified “Find New Roads” tag line is used in the company’s Spanish-language advertising, he said.
By various measurements, the campaign also has been successful in breaking through with buyers who remember the ads and in persuading consumers to consider, the Chevrolet, Majoros said.
Majoros added the combination of strong product and strong marketing has help Chevrolet big up market share even in passenger car segment that have come under pressure as the total market has shifted to truck and crossover. As of last month, trucks and crossover accounted for two-thirds of all new vehicle sales in the U.S.
But Chevrolet has picked up market share in the mini, compact, mid-sized and sports car segments, he noted.
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“Chevrolet is on a journey to become America’s favorite and best-selling brand,” he said. “We’re on a good glide path. We’re not satisfied to staying in third place.”
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