While recent increases in retail auto sales show the U.S. economy is getting back on track, purchases by another group of customers—small-business owners—are making news as well.
“Small businesses put off capital expenditures such as vehicle purchases in order to weather the economic storm,” said Don Johnson, GM vice president, U.S. Sales Operations. “But with the continuing improvement in consumer spending, and improving profitability of these businesses, we’re beginning to see a significant influx of small business buyers to Chevrolet showrooms.”
In fact, Chevy sales to small businesses, defined as those that buy five or fewer vehicles per year, were up 36 percent in the last quarter of 2010, a rate almost three times greater than that for the rest of the industry. These are customers like Mark Dalessi, owner of Sunwest Air Conditioning in Costa Mesa, Calif.
“We have nine trucks in our fleet, some with a lot of miles,” he said. “In the beginning of 2009, we were just happy to have any work. But business started picking up towards the end of 2009, and 2010 turned out to be a decent year. As 2011 is shaping up to be a good year for us, we decided it was time to replace our oldest trucks.”
That meant purchasing new Chevrolet Silverado pickups, the kind of hard workers that really live up to Dalessi’s expectations: “We buy our fleet vehicles expecting to drive them until they die, and we have never had any issues with our Chevy trucks.”
And with optimism among small-business owners continuing to grow, you can expect Chevy sales to these customers to do the same.