By on July 21, 2015

TTAC Aussie imports 2

Often criticized for flopping in the U.S. marketplace, Chevrolet set a sales record with the Aussie-built SS in June 2015.

Prior to June’s “surge” up to a still rather paltry 354 units, Chevrolet hadn’t sold more than 300 SS sedans since March of last year, the only other time the SS has crested the 300-unit mark. June 2015 SS volume was four units stronger than the March record.

Year-to-date, SS sales are down 8% to 1,534 units, just 0.4 percent of Chevrolet passenger car volume through the first-half of 2015. Chevrolet sells twelve times that many Corvettes.

2015 Chevrolet Caprice PPV

Meanwhile, GM’s other Australian import, the police-only Chevrolet Caprice PPV, is evidently disappearing from police departments’ wish lists. Caprice sales are down 54 percent to just 803 units through the first half of 2015.

Taurus Police Interceptor sales are falling, too. In fact, the Taurus alternative has suffered declining volume in each of the last seven months. Ford’s police sedan is down 5 percent this year, but it’s still more than six times as common as the SS. Ford’s Explorer Police Interceptor, on the other hand, is up 36 percent to 12,900 units in early 2015.

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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39 Comments on “Chart Of The Day: GM Set A Chevrolet SS Sales Record In June, Caprice PPV Sales Plunge...”


  • avatar
    johnhowington

    in the immortal words of every southern salesman: there aint nothing that price doesnt fix.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    We know the Explorer PI is killing the Taurus PI in sales, how is the Tahoe PPV doing against the Caprice PPV? I can’t say I recall seeing any new “square wheel-well” Tahoes in police livery.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      I have seen numerous square wheel Tahoes in service with the New Hampshire State Police.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The numbers I saw for 2013 had the Tahoe outselling the Caprice even worse than the Interceptor Utility out sells the Interceptor sedan. The Caprice sales have been steadily dropping since then so the gap has probably widened. However a number of depts around here than did use the Tahoe have switched to buying the Interceptor Utility.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    There’s a RPG manual SS within a reasonable distance from me. I’ve almost gone to see it twice now including today since I have the day off. It’s optioned exactly how I want and was willing to order from the factory.
    I’m reminded that I am not rich when I see the price tag and subsequent monthly payments, even if I sell one of my current cars, and it just makes me sad. That’s not to say it’s overpriced (it’s not) it’s just a reminder that I need to work a little harder.

    • 0 avatar
      prabal34

      I think I have been looking at that car online as it is the only one that appears when searched for. There is an AUTOMATIC RPG SS within a few miles from my house. I almost bought it but they would not let me out of my lease of a rain forest green Cruze I got last year for commuting. After going through all the BS I have come to the conclusion that a Manual RPG would be the only SS I want. I just can’t get it for another 2 years until the lease is up and they will have stopped making them by then.

      I don’t think I can ever get myself to buy automatic cars. I can barely tolerate them as a lease.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I know the feeling. I really wanted an SS, but to swing the price would have been a poor financial move.

      It’s very likely I’ll be able to afford one in about 30 months but by then they will be gone.

      • 0 avatar
        runs_on_h8raide

        @Land Ark, prabal34, avatar ajla:

        YOLO!!!!! Can’t take your money with you when you die. Life is short. You work hard…get it :) If things don’t work out…you can sell it easily because it is a manual…last of the dying breed. Get it before you regret not getting it, and we’re all forced into driving Google self-driven eggs.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    An Explorer makes real sense as a police vehicle; I can see it being a perfectly reasonable alternative to a sedan. That said, I don’t think taking it on a high-speed chase would necessarily end well.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    ” the police-only Chevrolet Caprice PPV, is evidently disappearing from police departments’ wish lists.”

    Awwww, don’t worry little Caprice, the police department of Garland, TX still loves you. I am serious here. While surrounding departments are increasingly going to Explorer PI’s and Tahoe PPV’s, Garland is replacing every Crown Vic they have left with Caprices. There is someone in the Garland PD purchasing department who has a thing for the Caprice name. Garland kept the B-body Caprice into the 2000’s before finally surrendering to the Crown Vic.

    So legitimate question here. If this sales upturn holds, wasn’t GM going to move SS/Caprice production stateside once Australian production wraps?

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      AFAIK RenCen abandoned those plans several years ago.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Even if they wanted to move production here, 5000-6000 units a year isn’t going to cut it.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          Yeah the only business case for the platform being built in the USA (or Canada or Mexico) would have been to base the Impala off of it and price/option like the Charger. Base V6, V8, high perf SS V8… etc, etc…

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Put some heavy-duty stuff in an Impala, put a light bar on it, and call it a Caprice.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      I also noticed that the Fort Worth PD is a heavy user of the Taurus PI; not sure why that is. Everyone else seems to mostly be purchasing either the Tahoe or Explorer.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The Washington State Patrol bought a ton of Caprices, but lately I’ve been seeing more and more Explorers. Most of our local police departments seem to have settled on the Explorer. Kirkland, the suburb where I live, is steadily phasing out Chargers and replacing them with Explorers. Their Explorers are EcoBoost-powered, obviously necessary to patrol a small suburb where the highest non-interstate limit is 35 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        It is interesting that I had seen a lot Caprices in WSP livery around my area and then recently I haven’t been seeing them nearly as much. I’ve seen quite a few Interceptor Utilities running around in WSP livery. Chargers seemed to do the same thing. Pretty much disappeared from the fleet overnight while they keep the Crown Vics until 150K or more.

  • avatar

    In my neck-of-the-woods…
    Clearwater PD – Leftover Crown Vics, Tahoe PPVs, Caprice PPVs, 3 Chargers, older TrailBlazers/Explorers for beach patrol. Tahoe is becoming the preeminate choice along with the Caprice and CPD has already announced they’re going pretty much GM for the fleet replacements. Interesting undercovers include a few Caprices (pointless when you think about it) and the Holy Trinity of unmarkeds – a Camaro SS, Challenger R/T, and Mustang GT.

    Pinellas Sheriff – Tahoe PPVs, Crown Vics, Impalas. One poor deputy who patrols up by my dealership still has what must be an ’05 Impala 9C1

    Largo PD – Crown Vics and Explorer Interceptors

    Tarpon Springs PD – Chargers and Explorer Interceptors and a handful of undercover Tauruseses

    Florida HWY Patrol – Chargers and Tahoes almost exlusively along with legacy CVPIs

    Pasco Sheriff – Impalas (which they apparently hate) which are being replaced by Tauruses and Explorers.

    St. Pete Police – Crown Vics. It was a big deal made by SPPD that they were stockpiling the last remaining CVPIs they could buy. They experiemented with Impalas, didn’t like them, and are replacing CVPIs with Taurus and Explorer Interceptors.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The St Pete Police office that pulled me over last week was driving an Explorer PI. He was nice enough not to give me a ticket and asked me about the Explorer, since all people from the Detroit area know things about cars.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    I imagine a major reason for not picking the Caprice would be the common knowledge that the entire Austrailian auto industry is going down in the next couple of years, while the Explorer is made in Ford’s oldest factory and selling like hotcakes. Makes no sense to buy a fleet car that has little support going backwards or forwards.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      Why would the fact that the Aussie factory is going away have anything to do with depts not buying them? The fact that the Crown Vic was going away made depts buy them like they were going out of style literally. The WSP bought as many Crown Vics as they could and put them in storage with the last unit being put into service almost a year after they took delivery.

      So if they were meeting the depts requirements they wouldn’t be replacing them with something else, they would be buying more.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Another SS sales thread, another comment to explain that monthly SS sales basically don’t show anything except when the batches of cars make it over the Pacific. The last few months have looked really good because the 2015s finally started showing up in serious volume. Most of these cars were in all likelihood ordered by customers last fall and winter when the order window was open.

    The real question given the insane production/distribution system and the batchy nature of production is how many cars get sold annually. 2015 is looking like it will be much better than 2014, and that’s not surprising at all given that the 2015 car has MRC and the manual option. It’s a better value.

    • 0 avatar
      olds442

      Not true theres 1120 available right now on autotrader right now. Theres still 2014s left . A dealership near me had three at one point sold one right away the other two went for under 40k over 10 months after being on the lot. Needless to say that dealer isnt putting any more on thier lot. I asked the sales manager at the largest dealership near me why they don’t have any . He said because they don’t sell quick enough to devote any sales floor to . The car costs too much for the chevy name plate. Its a nice car but nearly 50k n bad rebates have doomed it.
      Too bad holden should have survived . Ive owned a 2005 gto for 10yrs and its a top notch vehicle . Not a squeak or rattle . Only normal maintenance needed . Never stranded me . 100+k miles and still love it even in the winter ( snow tires) .

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Well, the Aussie dollar is down in value against the Greenback.

    It seems GM made this vehicle a flop…..purposely to a degree.

    As we say in Australia. GM can buy these “as cheap as chips” at the moment.

    We are around or just under 75c US to the Aussie Dollar.

    Makes business sense.

    • 0 avatar
      outback_ute

      It doesn’t seem like the price has reflected the change in the exchange rate though

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The car is a money loser at any price.

        In any case, the price would have been selected to manage exchange rate risk over the medium term. Prices are not adjusted in real time to reflect short-term exchange rates; that would be difficult and irritate customers when the exchange rate goes against them.

        • 0 avatar
          outback_ute

          Do you think they would have factored a 25% decrease? They hadn’t when it went the other way in the G8 days.

          Money loser is a given at the stated volumes given the barriers to the US market (ps that was a joke! even though it is true)

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            GM would try to protect itself against a rising Aussie dollar. The falling dollar isn’t a problem.

            Holden production is a money loser. There is a reason why Australian assembly is being shuttered.

            The SS program was intended to prop up the subsidies that Holden was taking from the state and federal governments. When GM decided to bail out after the coalition won the elections, the idea of increasing Commodore sales no longer mattered.

            The only barrier is the lack of demand.

  • avatar
    STS_Endeavour

    I need my ship to come in. I would like to have one of these Australian beauties in my garage.

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