DETROIT, March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The most fuel-efficient car in the United States is also becoming one of the most popular. For the first three months of 2011, the Chevrolet Cruze is on track to exceed 50,000 total sales.
Retail sales for the Cruze are expected to more than triple those of the Chevrolet Cobalt during the first quarter a year ago. Retail sales are also gaining ground in strong import-car markets, where Cruze is expected to be:
- 370 percent higher in California
- 225 percent higher in New York
- 230 percent higher in Florida
In a survey of more than 500 Cruze buyers, exterior styling and fuel efficiency ranked as their top reasons for purchasing a Cruze over a competitor vehicle.
For example, Karen Peters, of Hemet, Calif., traded in her 2005 Toyota Corolla for a Cruze, after seeing the Cruze in a television ad:
"I just fell in love with the Cruze the first time I saw it," she said. "There was nothing wrong with my Corolla, and I wasn't even looking for a new car. But something about the Cruze just stuck with me. I finally had to go for a test drive, just to get it out of my system.
"All it took was a short test drive, and I fell in love with the Cruze. It handles like I'm driving on glass-smooth roads, even when I'm not. And my friends give the Cruze their seal of approval, as it's more comfortable inside than the Corolla. The Cruze is awesome."
Like Peters, nearly two-thirds of Cruze buyers are new to Chevrolet. Only 34 percent of Cruze buyers traded-in a Chevrolet. Eighteen percent of Cruze buyers had no trade in, suggesting they were either adding a vehicle to the household or that the Cruze was their first new car. The remaining 48 percent of Cruze buyers traded in a vehicle other than a Chevrolet.
"With the all-new Cruze, we set out to build the best compact car on the market," said Lisa Hutchinson, Chevrolet Cruze marketing director. "The Cruze is priced to compete in the compact segment. But the Cruze offers the styling of a more expensive car, as well as more standard safety features than any other compact, and more miles per gallon with the Cruze Eco model. Clearly, that's a combination many customers can appreciate."
According to EPA estimates, Cruze LS, LT, and LTZ models all offer 36 miles per gallon highway, while the Cruze Eco delivers up to 42 mpg – more than any other gasoline-powered car on the market, excluding hybrid and diesel models.
All Cruze models feature the most standard safety features in its class – each contributing to Chevrolet's goal of protecting passengers before, during and after a crash – including: StabiliTrak electronic stability control, 10 air bags, and six months of OnStar Directions and Connections package.
These safety features helped the Chevrolet Cruze be the first compact car to earn the best-possible crash test ratings from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the revised New Car Assessment Program administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and implemented for the 2011 model year:
Top Safety Pick
Crash Safety Rating
2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco
2011 Honda Civic
2011 Toyota Corolla
2012 Ford Focus
2012 Hyundai Elantra
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. 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 Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers "gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. 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 can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
SOURCE General Motors