DETROIT, Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The fuel-efficient Chevrolet Equinox sales jumped 79 percent in December, to 22,764 total sales – the best month on record for the compact crossover. Total Equinox sales have climbed by more than 60 percent for three consecutive months, as increased production from Oshawa Assembly began arriving at U.S. dealers.
Chevrolet has increased Equinox production three times since 2009 to meet sustained customer demand. With the CAMI facility in Ingersoll, Ontario, running at full capacity, Equinox regular production began at the Oshawa Assembly Plant in late September 2010.
The unique approach utilizes excess capacity from the new CAMI body shop to build additional Equinox bodies, which are transported from Ingersoll to Oshawa for paint and final assembly. This adds capacity to build 60,000 to 80,000 more Equinox and GMC Terrain (also built at CAMI) for the Canadian and U.S. markets.
The increased production resulted in significant gains in U.S. sales for the last quarter of 2010, outpacing growth in the compact-crossover segment:
- 1 %
- 2 %
Even with the increased supply, Equinox remains one of the fastest-selling compact crossovers, based on days spent on dealer lots. In December, Equinox averaged just 17 days to turn, nearly half of the average for the compact-crossover segment.
"We don't expect sales to slow any time soon," said Kerry Whelan, owner and president of Buff Whelan Chevrolet in Sterling Heights, Mich. "Almost everyone who test drives an Equinox leaves with an Equinox because of how well it drives, its interior design, and its fuel economy."
Equipped with the standard 2.4L Ecotec engine and six-speed automatic, the front-wheel-drive Equinox delivers a segment-best 32 mpg highway, according to EPA estimates – better than even the Ford Escape Hybrid. The Equinox also offers the most rear legroom in its class, thanks to the MultiFlex rear seat that slides fore or aft nearly eight inches (203 mm). With the 60/40-split-back rear seat moved all the way forward, the cargo area offers 31.4 cubic feet (889 liters) of storage.
Equinox also features an array of standard safety equipment, including six air bags and StabiliTrak electronic stability control. Innovative features available on the Equinox include active noise cancellation technology for increased interior refinement, a power programmable rear liftgate, and a rear-view backup camera with the screen integrated into the center rearview mirror.
These features helped earn the Equinox a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In addition, Consumer's Digest named the Equinox a 2010 Best Buy, and Auto Pacific named the Equinox the Best in Class in its 2010 Ideal Vehicle Awards.
"The Chevrolet Equinox continues to be one of the fastest-selling vehicles in one of the fastest-growing vehicle segments," said Alan Batey vice president, Chevrolet Sales and Service. "The added Equinox production has proved to be a creative way to quickly meet customer demand, and is clearly helping Chevrolet attract sales we might not have otherwise."
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates is centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of more than 4 million vehicles in 130 countries. In the U.S., the Chevrolet portfolio includes: iconic performance cars, such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long lasting pickups and SUVs, such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers, such as Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly" solutions, such as Chevrolet Cruze Eco with an EPA-estimated 42 miles per gallon highway, and the Chevrolet Volt offering 35 miles of electric driving and an additional 344 miles of extended gasoline range, according to EPA estimates. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security, and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response, and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
SOURCE General Motors