By on July 13, 2017

2018 Chevrolet Equinox vs Impala/Cruze/Malibu - Images: GMIn June 2017, General Motors reported 29,182 U.S. sales of its Chevrolet Equinox, the company’s most popular non-truck model in America.

A 49-percent year-over-year improvement made June the best month for the Equinox since May 2015.

Combined with sharp declines from Chevrolet’s three mainline sedans, it also made the Equinox more popular in June than the Chevrolet Cruze, Malibu, and Impala combined.

As if we needed more evidence that Americans want crossovers, not cars.

It helps that General Motors, which supplied retail/fleet and 2017/2018 sales figures to TTAC at our request, was essentially selling two different versions of the Equinox in June. (To be fair, transition phases often bring sales down, not up.) GM reported 19,044 sales of the old, outgoing, second-generation Equinox and 10,138 copies of the new, third-generation Equinox.

33 percent of Equinox sales were of the fleet variety, though only 441 of the 10,138 “new” Equinox sales went to fleets.2016 Chevrolet Equinox LT - Image: GMGM therefore pointed out to TTAC that the Equinox did not outsell its three sedan siblings on a pure retail basis. (Granted, the Equinox missed out on doing so by only 618 units.)

Nevertheless, a withdrawal from the fleet market, particularly in the second quarter of 2017, explains much of GM’s passenger car downturn. And that downturn is most obvious with the Chevrolet Impala, total sales of which tumbled 45 percent in the first-half of 2017 and plunged a stunning 77 percent (to only 2,808 units) in June. Long gone are the days of 2007, when GM was reporting nearly 6,000 Impala sales per week.

While 74 percent of the Chevrolet Impalas sold in the United States in the first three months of 2017 were fleet sales, sales to fleets in the second-quarter were 75-percent lower than in the first-quarter. However, GM was selling fewer Impalas to retail buyers in Q2 than Q1, albeit only 12-percent fewer.

The Impala competes in a full-size segment that’s down 18 percent this year. The Chevrolet Malibu, sales of which plunged 30 percent in the first-half of 2017 and 33 percent in June specifically, operates in a midsize category that’s likewise down 18 percent. Chevrolet Cruze sales are rising in 2017 after 2016 volume took a dive, but June Cruze sales were down 31 percent, year-over-year. U.S. compact car volume isn’t falling nearly as rapidly as sales in the subcompact, midsize, and large car categories.

Year-to-date, GM has reported 133,454 Equinox sales, a 10-percent improvement on last year. 220,399 Cruzes, Malibus, and Impalas were sold in the U.S. in the first-half of 2017, a 16-percent drop.

General Motors has sold 561,072 utility vehicles in 2017, a 13-percent improvement. General Motors’ car sales are down 17 percent to 369,948 units. The Equinox and its GMC Terrain sibling account for 31 percent of GM’s SUV/crossover tally. The Cruze, Malibu, and Impala produce 60 percent of GM’s U.S. car volume.

June may have been an anomaly, as GM was benefiting from a fleet strategy with the Equinox the automaker seems to be forsaking, while also benefiting from selling value-priced Equinoxes to consumers and generating attention with the first all-new Equinox since 2010. Even if GM can’t replicate this event in the near term, in which the Equinox outsells three key Chevrolet cars, we’re still seeing the American auto industry’s future represented in the Equinox’s June victory.

Maybe the 2018 Equinox can’t routinely outsell the Cruze, Malibu, and Impala. But it’ll likely keep the sales race close.

[Images: General Motors]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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25 Comments on “Chevrolet Equinox More Popular in June 2017 Than Cruze, Malibu, Impala Combined...”


  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    When will the diesel be available?

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    Not hard to see why these sell well (good sight lines, easy entry/exit, hatchback, elevated driving position, ground clearance, etc ). Make the price right and you have a winner, regardless of brand.

  • avatar
    mikey

    I think the Cami plant built out the 17’s on Monday night…I believe the last Equinox in Oshawa, come off the line today?..They have already started the “tear out” of the old “W” consolidated plant.

    GM actually adjusted the two week corporate shut to accommodate the build out at both plants. Last word i received was that the double cab, and regular cab bodies, will start trickling in from Fort Wayne in November.

    The Flex is running Impala, and the ATX (assembly only) and the Regal…Word has it, “expect more down weeks in the schedule.”…For now, anyway..the auto industry is just about dead,, here in the Shwa.

    Oh yeah, I remember those days in 06-07. Over 6000 Impalas a week. For us folks “punching the clock”..it was a license to print money.

    • 0 avatar
      Pig_Iron

      Translation: “I’m alright Jack.” F U Gen-X and Mill’s. Enjoy your itinerant, on-call, part-time, less than min wage contract jobs without benefits or pensions. You’ll be poor because you deserve it. Ha ha ha!!!

      • 0 avatar
        iNeon

        It certainly isn’t Mikey’s fault times and labor markets changed. Why would you be so angry about it?

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ Pig_Iron….Yeah, that would be me, one of those nasty” Boomers” that took all the cake, and left the crumbs for the Gen X group.. F.A left for the “Mills !…Don’t worry we won’t be around much longer.

        Of course, along the way we paid 14 -15 percent on our Mortgages. We saw inflation that would take your breath away. We gave birth to the X_Gen …We carried obscene debt loads to pay their education. A whole pile of us dug into our future to help them secure their first home.

        Yes, many of us said “who needs an education. Screw it, I can punch the clock at GM and make more money,and benefits than a University grad” In retrospect in was the stupidest decision I ever made in my life.

        Our parents generation came through a depression, and a horrible war..Our parents had zero toleration for slackers. I remember like it was yesterday the day announced to my parents that I was done school. There was no grey area in our parents world “You either go to school, or you go to work, and pay your Mother Room and Board ” that was my Dads response to my announcement.. “But Dad, I need some time to find myself”. “Well boy you’ll “find yourself” living on the F–kn street.”

        The Old Man taught me “Ya play the hand your dealt”

        Agreed.. the Gen X followed by the Mills certainly was dealt a crappy hand….We Boomers didn’t deal it.

        • 0 avatar
          bullnuke

          Well said, Mikey.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          “We gave birth to the X_Gen …” That is incorrect. Generally speaking, Gen-Xers have Silent Generation parents; Millennials, Boomer parents. The Silent Generation is/was small, and that’s echoed in the small size of Gen-X. The Boomer Generation is large, and that’s echoed in the Millennials. That’s the underlying reason why various policies favor Boomers.

          A case in point: I know a Silent Generation couple whose daughter went to Princeton. The parents are successful professionals. They do well financially, but they’re not “F U” rich. Princeton deemed them just wealthy enough to receive no financial aid. Were they and their daughter just a few years younger, a sizable chunk of her tuition would have been covered by a grant (see https://www.princeton.edu/pr/aid/pdf/1314/PU-Making-It-Possible.pdf). Funny that, how Harvard, Yale, and Princeton suddenly became more generous with financial aid once Boomers’ children started college . . . and after the Silent Generation parents had been soaked. Tax policies have worked the same way.

          No generation holds a monopoly on virtue or vice, but the Boomers on balance have taken more than they’ve given.

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2015/03/31/who-should-pay-for-the-mess-were-in/#58ba372f623a

          https://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2017/02/26/how-baby-boomers-destroyed-everything/lVB9eG5mATw3wxo6XmDZFL/story.html

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I will say the new Equinox is very fetching in Orange Burst Metallic is very fetching. There’s one here locally that I usually see going the opposite direction during my commute (heavily tinted windows).

    Just keep building the Impala until 2019 MY so I can get a good deal on a Premiere – got to have the heated steering wheel.

  • avatar
    ajla

    It will be interesting to see what the advertised 20% off on the Impala does for sales this month.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    That’s a pretty stunning comparison.

    If you’re GM, you’re going to look anew at the resources it takes to develop vehicles, and put your money on winners. Replacements for the Impala and Malibu won’t be among them.

  • avatar
    deanst

    With ed wellburn gone from GM, maybe that can finally start producing some attractive interiors. That impala dashboard should be the first to go.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I’ve held back for far too long.

    After getting stuck with an “intermediate” CUV (does it really matter what make/model? – they’re all pieces of sh*t – I would’ve gone into my own pocket to get an alternative and actually decent vehicle to drive had time and choice allowed for it) in Dallas for 3 days last week, f*ck the new malaise-era, sea-of-anonymous blobs that are CUVs now blighting the highways, byways and driveways of these United States.

    These vehicles SUCK, almost without exception, in comparison with their coupe/sedan chassis-mates, and the fact that they carry a 20% to 30% premium in MSRP (and similar, if not larger, gap in ATP), just demonstrates what a stupid bunch of lemmings Americans are.

    Americans have now spoken with their wallets (or debt-burden/assumption-of-debt-enslavement, to be more precise), and helped paved the way to at least a decade or longer period of a new malaise-era he!! whereby these overpriced, cheaply built, awkward-handling, hideously-styled, all-look-alike blobs multiply like rats and scar the American landscape and dull the driving experience.

    I loathe CUVs. They’re the automotive equivalent of those oyster crackers that come in the little packets as giveaways at really mediocre restaurants.

    I can mount a genuine defense for pickup trucks, SUVs p, and even station wagons and vans, but not these detestable, loathsome CUVs.

    F*ck them all, nearly without exception.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      Lol on my way to work just this morning I was thinking about how all the little CUV’s around me tailgating, whipping around, weaving in, weaving out of the lane at like those little gnats that you just can’t get away from you.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Alternate view: I contend that if the 2017 Equinox had been available for purchase at any time period from ~1930-~2005 it would have been regarded as an almost miraculously wonderful car and would have quickly represented 50% of all cars on the road and driven most other manufacturers out of business.

      People are generally pretty good at accurately assessing their own wants and needs. That they assess them differently than you do does not make them lemmings.

    • 0 avatar
      denster2u

      I see absolutely nothing compelling about CUVs. They are a terrible value and do nothing particularly well- poor handling, thirsty, underpowered, and overweight, with a high center of gravity. Basically, they’re the polar opposite of good hatchback alternatives, and gratuitously overpriced, without an ounce of driving enjoyment. The car manufacturers love it, because it’s like printing money. The sticker premiums over comparable sedans and hatchbacks is utterly ridiculous, even though most are manufactured on the same platforms.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        And yet the people actually buying the cars are increasingly seeing them to offer compelling value over their sedan and hatchback competition. That’s why they keep buying them.

        People like to sit up high, and are willing to sacrifice some MPG and “handling at the limit” to get it.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          Well then those people are just stupid for not realizing the perfect vehicle is a poop-brown hatchback/wagon with a 100 hp Diesel engine, manual transmission, and a ride so harsh you need to wiggle your kidneys back into position after driving it.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    In the US market I expect that pickups and truck based SUVs account for about 70-80% of automaker profits (at least at GM, Ford, and FCA), and CUVs probably about for about 15-25%. Image cars (Mustang, Corvette, etc.) and mid-size cars are break-even to miniscule profitable, large cars, small cars, and green cars are all money losers. In other words, moderate to large size, with big windows, good visibility, and easy entry are what the public wants. Swoopy looks, race-car handling, eco-friendly not so much.

  • avatar
    denster2u

    They say that Chevrolet’s early design for the new Equinox was a disaster in focus groups, but I can’t imagine how it was worse than the final result. The new Equinox, along with the new Cruze and Malibu, are rolling automotive deformities, and already look stale.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I really liked the looks of the Impala, Malibu, Cruze, and Volt 2.0 at first, and generally still do.

      To your point about ‘stale’: Chevy copied their corporate face so well that I can’t tell these cars apart, and so now they no longer hold my interest.

  • avatar
    crazyforwheels

    I bought a 2016 Impala LTZ v6 last fall. It’s a beautiful car to drive and so far is flawless, with great gas mileage and get up and go.

    I looked at SUV’s but they couldn’t grab my attention after test driving the Impala

  • avatar
    starskeptic

    Not surprised, on a recent cross-country drive – the single most common vehicle was the Chevy Equinox.


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