Chevrolet makes best start to year ever

The US car maker entered the European market in 2005 and new, low-cost models such as the Chevrolet Spark and Chevrolet Cruze have pushed sales up by seven per cent in the first quarter of 2011.

The Cruze saloon in particular has sold strongly, topping the sales charts with 150,652 models. This is expected to grow even further in the coming months when the new Chevrolet Cruze hatchback is released in the UK.

UK buyers traditionally prefer hatchbacks over saloons, and the five-door version of Chevrolet’s most popular model is expected to continue the trend.

Revealed at the Geneva Motor Show this year, the Cruze hatchback features Chevrolet’s distinctive split grille and modern styling seen in the new Aveo and Spark cars.

Prices for the hatchback have not been announced, but it is expected to use the 161bhp 2.0-litre diesel – found in the new Chevrolet Orlando MPV – as one of its engine options.

More importantly, the Chevrolet Cruze is the latest of the brand’s models to be tweaked to suit European customers.

Joel Ewanick, GM Global Chief Marketing Officer. “Our first quarter results are a clear indication that consumers are responding to our new product line, which only happens when you truly listen to the customer."

Chevrolet is celebrating its centennial year in 2011, and plans on launching five new models in total into the UK market, including a new UK version of the iconic Chevrolet Camaro muscle car.

Chevrolet has sold 3,700 cars in the UK in 2011 and enjoys a market share of 0.69 per cent after just five years of selling cars in the region.