Chevy Crossovers and SUVs Reign Supreme in 2018
Q4 2018 sales figures confirm Chevy's decision to discontinue several passenger cars is a strategic one
Near the end of 2018, Chevrolet announced the cancellation of several of its passenger cars. Sales during the fourth quarter show precisely why Chevy is shifting away from sedans and toward SUVs and crossovers.
Despite slowing sedan sales, Chevy suffered only a slight 1.4 percent sales decline overall in 2018. The automaker delivered 531,985 vehicles during the last three months of the year, with 549,691 vehicles sold. This accounted for a 3.2 percent sales loss.
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Chevrolet’s signature crossover, the Equinox, was among its most successful models last quarter. Chevy sold 98,239 Equinox vehicles during that time, an increase of 26.4 percent. By the end of the year, Chevy had successfully delivered 332,618 Equinox vehicles. That makes the Equinox one of the most successful crossovers on the market.
Some of Chevy’s SUVs and crossovers did experience sliding sales during the last quarter of the year. Chevy’s largest and most luxurious SUV, the Suburban, suffered a 13.4 percent sales decline during the last portion of the year. Still, Suburban sales were strong during the previous three quarters. Chevy sold 60,633 units of the vehicle last year, a 7.3 percent sales increase.
The Chevrolet Colorado had its best sales year ever, with a total of 134,842 models sold in 2018. This marks a 19.3 percent sales growth for the midsize truck. Sales for Chevy’s larger truck, the Silverado, remained relatively stagnant in 2018. Chevy delivered 585,581 Silverados last year, compared to the 585,864 it delivered in 2017.
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Finally, the writing is on the wall for Chevrolet’s sedans and passenger cars. Sales for the Malibu, one of Chevy’s remaining sedans, fell 17 percent during the last quarter of the year. The sales losses were even more severe for the Chevrolet Sonic. Sonic sales fell 55.7 percent during the last portion of the sales year.
Even as Chevy hopes to pivot toward electric vehicles in the future, the brand’s entry into this segment, the Bolt, lost sales last year. After an astounding first year in 2017 with 23,297 sales, Bolt sales fell to 18,019 in 2018.
Yet, even with all of these passenger cars losing ground, one little “Spark” managed to shine bright. Likely due to its affordable price in an increasingly expensive market, Chevy Spark sales actually managed to grow by 4.5 percent last year.
In total, Chevrolet sold 2,036,023 vehicles in 2018. As it streamlines its vehicle lineup, sales will likely decrease even more, but profits should expand.
To see how each Chevy performed in 2018, take a look at the sales chart below.