By on May 26, 2015

2015 Chevrolet SS

General Motors sold more Chevrolet SS sedans in April 2015 than they did in April 2014.

Albeit only 16 more, to be precise. 5.7% more.

Yet not in any of the previous five months in which the SS could produce a year-over-year increase did it manage to do so. (October 2014 sales jumped 11,400% from one reported sale in October 2013 to 115.)

Moreover, the SS’s April 2015 sales total was the second-highest level ever for the Aussie-built sedan.

Are we finally seeing an SS recovery, or is this just a blip on the Dodge Charger SRT’s radar?

After SS volume tumbled to just 313 units in the fourth-quarter of 2014, a 25% year-over-year drop and a 64% decline compared with the SS’s strongest quarter from early 2014, sales have now increased in four consecutive periods on a month-to-month basis.

From just 93 sales in December 2014, monthly SS volume has climbed to 115, 215, 264, and 299 units in the following four months. Year-over-year, of course, first-quarter sales in 2015 slid 31%. But the signs of momentum, however slight and inconsequential, are still present.

2015 Chevrolet SS front

If General Motors was able to sustain this level of volume, Chevrolet would be selling 3,600 SSs in America each year. But after the SS was selling at its best level so far – during the first-half of 2014 – GM proved unable to sustain interest. Inventory ballooned, and with little marketing support and outrageous Hellcats from Dodge stealing thunder, SS sales in the second-half of 2014 were less than half what they were in the first-half.

Keep in mind, based on first-half figures, Chevrolet was on pace to sell more than 3,000 SSs in America last year; not a lot, but a lot more than the 2,479 they ended up selling.

If a lack of manual availability was blamed for part of the decline last year, did the arrival of a manual transmission provide this April 2015 boost? It seems doubtful. Even if we account for the notion that the manual-trans SS sedans may be moving faster or are simply being handed directly into owners’ hands, the fact that Cars.com shows only 1% of current inventory being made up by DIY shifters is telling.

As for the SS’s position in the sales rundown, in April it was still outsold by uncommon vehicles like the Smart Fortwo, BMW i3, Audi A8, Volvo V60 Cross Country, Porsche Boxster, and the Mini Cooper Convertible. The SS accounts for 0.35% of Chevrolet car volume this year, just 0.13% of total Chevrolet volume, and only 0.09% of the new GM vehicles sold.

Rarity isn’t a death knell. You don’t expect to see Mercedes-AMG GT coupes scattered about your local Wal-Mart parking lot or Jaguar F-Types lined up outside elementary schools in the suburbs. But oddly, GM hasn’t really used the SS as a marketing tool to elevate the image of the Chevrolet brand. And why would they? They have the Chevrolet Corvette to fill that role.

They sold nearly 3,500 of those in April alone.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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54 Comments on “Can It Really Be True? Chevrolet SS Sales Increased In April 2015...”


  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    I hope it’s still available when I go car shopping again. The fact that it’s offered in more colors than black, white, gray, dark gray, medium gray, light gray, smoky gray, grayish gray, concrete gray, and silver gray puts it on my short list.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      You got 40 more shades to go.

      • 0 avatar
        Tomifobia

        Just out of curiosity, I checked the Chevy website to see what colors are available in dealer inventory around here. Mostly black of course, but I’ll be damned if I can find one without a sunroof.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick 2012

          The Regal Peacock Green offered on the SS is – hands down – my favorite color offered on sale today.

          http://www.curbsideclassic.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/holden-vf-calais-regal-peacock.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I adore dark green cars. Prefer fewer blue/green optical tricks and no metallics, but RPG still looks marvelous.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Would help if they advertised it in the U.S. Maybe they are working on a word of mouth campaign?

      • 0 avatar
        snakebit

        FWIW, I hadn’t seen one SS on the road, and then in one day three days ago(in the city, no less) saw two being driven by younger guys in the span of one hour. I don’t know if this was just a sales blip, but it was fun to see that, just the same.

  • avatar
    moorewr

    I wish they advertised this car more; I wish Holden was going under since we know they will stop making these and soon.

    They had a manual SS on display at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix.. I liked it in person a lot more than in photos. The driving position and shifter placement were right on. Me gusta.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    The pathway is clear for this car. GM is just going to let it die on the vine, but I bet they will let it sit around for a few more years at least. This is after all the (in name only) platform GM uses for NASCAR.

    Amazing what some incentives will do to move some cars off the lot.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      For this version, there will be a 2016. There may or may not be a 2017. We know for sure there won’t be any after 2017 because GM Australia will stop producing cars in 2017.

      If there is a Chevy SS after 2017 it will be a different product.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    I really like this car. A lot. I want one very badly. Sadly, its not for sale in Canada, but mainly its out of my price range, for the time being. I feel my current ride verifies my willingness to put my money down on a unicorn, I just hope something like this is available at the next go-around, when my purchasing power will be greater.

  • avatar

    SRT OWNS THIS MARKET.
    Sorry GM, Sorry FORD…thanks for playing.

    People can go on and on and on about the CTS-V but even HELLCAT costs far less and offers far more.

    • 0 avatar

      BTSR,

      Before you gloat your way into a corner, you might want to read this about FCA’s current travails:

      http://www.autoextremist.com/current/?currentPage=4

      And then this – go halfway down the page past the Porsches and Camaros to the item about Serge’s desperation to find a partner for FCA:

      http://www.autoextremist.com/on-the-table1/?currentPage=2

      Fix It Again Tony is in trouble. Even as Dodge builds the best, most capable performance vehicles in their history. The question of whether anything beyond Jeeps and Rams will survive the next five years looms larger with each passing day.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      In this class, SRT makes laughably porky products suitable only for driving fast in a straight line. I know that’s all you like to do, but other people like making turns from time to time.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Tell that to Jack Baruth, Dal, He more than complimented the Challengers in all the variations he tracked.

        In fact, Bark M. had a G8, so Jack & Bark can weigh in credibly on how/why the Dodges pretty much destroy the SS/G8 in pretty much any of their V8 variants.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          First, a Charger is not a Challenger.

          Second, it WEIGHS 4300 POUNDS in Scat Pack form (closer to 4500 in Hellcat form). That just isn’t acceptable in a sedan, unless my chauffeur is driving and the back seats recline. You can make a 4300-pound sedan put up big skidpad numbers, but you can’t make it feel agile.

          The SS is closer to 3900 pounds, which still feels heavy, but is closer to reasonable for something with its amount of interior space (which, incidentally, is slightly more than the Charger in both overall volume and most measurements).

          The biggest problem with my G8 as a driver’s car is that it’s too heavy. I can’t imagine trying to muscle it around with another 400 pounds, mostly on the nose.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Also Dal, the SS is easier to see out of from any viewing angle. The back seat is roomier and easier to access. It has more interior passenger room than the Crown Vic. It is just a comfortable, practical every day family sedan that you can hammer when you get the chance. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, with a great engine, handling and brakes. It is not better than a Charger, just different.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “on how/why the Dodges pretty much destroy the SS/G8 in pretty much any of their V8 variants.”

          I bought a V8 Charger and this is a laughable statement.

          The LX car’s biggest plus is affordability. The non-SRT models ride better than the Aussie sedans, the stock 5.7 sounds better than the stock 6.0, the 6.4 is more powerful than the LS3, and I think uConnect is superior to whatever GM calls their system right now. Other than that it’s advantage GM.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          “Tell that to Jack Baruth…”

          I respect Jack’s opinion but is he now the Oracle? Should one rely on Jack to tell one what one likes or dislikes?

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            um…jack loved the MkS when it was introduced.
            now I agree…but just wanted to tell a truth.

  • avatar

    This JUST in. From GM Authority. Again…let’s see if FCA is even around in five years.

    http://gmauthority.com/blog/2015/05/fca-ceo-marchionne-emailed-gm-ceo-barra-about-merger-and-consolidation/

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Doesn’t help that out of the 10 or so near dealers, theres like 2 of them.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The whopping increase of 16 units is (a) statistically insignificant and (b) on par with the overall month-over-month increase of vehicle sales between 2014 and 2015.

    When Holden ceases production, this car will die with it. It’s fair to assume that this is a money loser for GMNA, as it was intended to help to reduce the losses of the Australian business. Not much reason to promote it; from a business standpoint, it shouldn’t be here at all.

    • 0 avatar

      Exactly. GM would much rather you buy a 4WD Silverado or Sierra with that money, which probably carries a five-figure profit. When it’s all said and done, profits on the SS would, by contrast, be meager.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        I doubt many people cross shop the SS with pickup trucks.

        The more likely vehicles they’re preferring to sell over the SS are CTS V-Sports and Corvettes. I’ve heard several stories of dealers trying to steer people interested in the SS into buying a Corvette (not that those really make sense for cross shopping either, but presumably the dealer just thinks “fast car with V8” is what that customer wants).

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Every other V8 sedan for sale in America in a similar price range laughs in the SS general direction.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      That is, two cars: Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger. I think I’ll take the SS with its manual and ~400 lbs. lighter weight.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “Every other V8 sedan for sale in America in a similar price range laughs in the SS general direction.”

      Why?

      Have you driven them to compare? I’d take the SS over the Charger, 300, Genesis and the 550i.

    • 0 avatar
      moorewr

      This one is a complete package at last with a stick shift and MagneRide. I’d take this car over the 300 and Charger any day, unless all I wanted to do was terrorize a drag strip.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        We enthusiasts love the manual but how many are going to be sold that way. I’m seeing the SS stickering for about $48,000 on Chevy’s build your own and the V8 Genesis with few options at $51,000 before you haggle. That puts them much closer in real world price. (Quick what’s the cheapest V8 Lexus or MB go for?)

        The honest truth is that if Lutz was still in charge of product we’d be ranting about how the SS is a vanity project for an aging playboy.

  • avatar

    This car is more my taste, in terms of styling and handling, and it’s what I’d buy.

    But the Charger SRT and SRT Hellcat are better cars with more support.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I checked and there’s a new one 21 miles away from me.

    But, get this, the damn thing costs more than a nice Odyssey!

  • avatar
    hubcap

    [this was meant as a response to Kyree]

    That depends on how you define “better”. I’d much rather have the SS over the Chargers. It might be down on power but but for me it has enough. More importantly, it’s more responsive which makes it feel better.

    Some want more power, others want more balance. Having a choice between the two is good.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    It’s like the GTO all over again. We all demand someone build us a RWD, V8 car and then come up with excuses not to like it. They aren’t going to do it anymore if we keep it up. We’ve already done it to small RWD coupes thanks to Toyota and Subaru believing we’d buy it if they built it.

    I test drove a manual SS on Friday. I am still very much on the fence about getting one. It is a lot of money for me, but go look at what you can get at $45k. I’m sure you’d be much happier in a 320i or Infiniti Q50.

    Regal Peacock, manual, fog lights.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Do you really believe that? This is really one the last of the real cars and possibly the only of which that does not penalize visibility. FTR nobody is happier in a four cylinder BMW and the “new” G37 than they would be in a Holden Commodore, and no G37 or 3 series is giving you the same bang for the buck. Can you believe a sedan with rear passenger comfort for human adults standard?

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        “It is a lot of money for me, but go look at what you can get at $45k. I’m sure you’d be much happier in a 320i or Infiniti Q50.”

        I detect some /sarc.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Sarc needs to be declared otherwise an out of memory exception can occur.

          • 0 avatar
            Land Ark

            Sorry! I thought the context made it clear enough. In the future I will append with (end sarcasm) or something similar.

            The point having been, you cannot buy anything remarkably better for the same price as the SS. Sure you can get a Charger, but that’s like saying that for Honda Civic money you can get a Toyota Corolla.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree completely.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I understood you, and I’m right with you. If it weren’t for the financial stupidity of buying a new 415 hp Holden when I barely drive my existing 415 hp Holden 5000 miles a year, I’d be at the Chevy dealer, or at least trying to find one that would take my order.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        I’ve put 9,000 miles on my Holden GTO since I bought it in 2011. And it would have to go to help finance the SS. Which would likely see similar miles.
        The sales guy asked me why I wanted to sell the GTO and I couldn’t come up with an answer other than to help pay for the SS. He may have ultimately talked me out of the whole thing.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      “It’s like the GTO all over again. We all demand someone build us a RWD, V8 car and then come up with excuses not to like it.”

      Strongly disagree. The RWD, V8 option car as embodied in the Camaro, Mustang, Challenger, and Charger have moved 125,000 cars so far this year. That’d be the 2nd best selling car in the country, just behind the Camry.

      This one comes in one wholly impractical trim, has all the presence of a Malibu, and GM priced it at the very top of the segment and doesn’t even advertise it. Of course they don’t move. That’s not fickle enthusiasts. It’s GM not wanting to sell them.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        You make some valid points, I have to admit that GM really isn’t interested in selling the SS. I know they’d rather sell you a Tahoe or Silverado for the same money.

        But I have to question the segment you are referring to when you say it is priced at the top of.
        I did a quick $50k search for RWD cars (2 and 4 door) within 500 miles of me. And Priced above the first SSes are:
        Mustang GT 5.0
        Hyundai Genesis and Equus
        Kia K900
        Chrysler 300 5.7
        Challenger R/T Scat Pack and SRT

        Then you throw in a bunch of leftover Camaros and some Chargers.

        So, what’s the problem here? Chevy is pricing their car at or below cars that most would say come from similarly placed manufacturers. You look down your nose at Chevy but then buy a Hyundai? Or a Dodge? Or a Ford? I just don’t understand the complaints about the pricing.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “But oddly, GM hasn’t really used the SS as a marketing tool to elevate the image of the Chevrolet brand. And why would they? They have the Chevrolet Corvette to fill that role.”

    The model has no future and they don’t want to sell it. If it did have a future, it would be foolish not to sell it as the sedan companion to Corvette.

  • avatar
    pragmatic

    Chrysler owns this market. They are spending on engines I just wish they’d spend a newer lighter car. I know the return on investment is slim but spend some money on aluminum hemi, design a lighter chassis to go with it.

    I don’t need (I might like but wouldn’t likely buy) the higher powered versions but get the v6 charger down to 3700 pounds (about a 300 lb weight loss), keep the weight balanced, price it well (little higher than current models)and I’m there.

    I’d like to replace my current ride, the Charger is the leading candidate. A manual 4 door Accord is possible (I never owned an auto or a fwd) but don’t think I could live with the FWD. I’ll wait another year and if nothing better comes along I’ll buy the Charger, but I’d be happier if it were lighter.

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    I need my ship to come in. I want to spend some quality time with one of these Australian beauties.

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