One of General Motors Co.’s (NYSE: GM) best-selling cars, the Chevy Cruze, has suffered a year-to-date sales dip of 25.1% to 122,796. The 2016 model recently has been replaced by a 2017 one.
The Cruze is Chevy’s low-priced sedan. The 2017 version has a base price of $16,975. Chevy also makes a hatchback version. The Cruze competes against two of the best-selling cars in America: the Honda Motor Co. (NYSE: HMC) Civic and Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) Corolla. Civic sales are up 15.1% this year to 255,599. Corolla sales are off 3% year to date to 244,651. The Cruz is already at a huge sales disadvantage
Reviews for the Cruze have been modest. One that is typical came from Car & Driver:
Not as razor sharp as some of its more enthusiastic competitors, the Cruze offers the ride of a bigger car in a compact package. Well-shaped front seats, a roomy back seat, and a huge trunk make the Cruze a great distance cruiser. A seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard, as is 4G LTE with a Wi-Fi hotspot. A 153-hp 1.4-liter turbo four pairs to a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic. The RS adds styling bits but, sadly, no performance upgrades.
A relatively modest car in such a competitive market is bound to have sales pressure. GM needs the Cruze to do well. Chevy sales are down 3.9% year to date to 175,965. And Chevy is GM’s largest division.