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Old 10-13-2012, 09:49 PM   #1
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Post GM bets big on lucky 13 for Chevrolet's lineup next year

GM bets big on lucky 13 for Chevrolet's lineup next year

General Motors, which has had more than its share of bad luck, is now betting on 13. That's how many new or redesigned models that Chevrolet will introduce next year.

That's 2013, of course.

"Thirteen is a big year for Chevrolet," GM spokesman Michael Albano said at a briefing at Detroit's Renaissance Center. "You know some of them. There's a lot of chatter about others and a couple will be complete surprises, which we're thrilled about."

In 2013, the automaker is expected to start selling the all-new version of the highly anticipated Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup and the redesigned Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan. A redesigned Chevrolet Corvette is also widely rumored to hit showrooms next year.

Albano said new models for 2013 include a new Traverse crossover, a diesel version of the Cruze compact car and an electric version of the Spark. There will be two surprises, he said.

The news comes as GM's passenger cars are gaining momentum, including the new Chevrolet Spark mini car, Chevrolet Sonic subcompact and all-new Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan. The automaker's passenger car sales rose 11% in the first nine months of the year.

Still, GM faces stiff competition in the passenger car market, which features recently redesigned vehicles such as the Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Honda Accord.

In California, where fuel prices are soaring and consumers are flocking to small vehicles, GM's market share still lags despite strong sales of the Volt plug-in electric vehicle. California buyers favor foreign brands.

"Honestly California is not the strongest market for Chevrolet, no big surprise," said Cristi Landy, director of marketing for Chevrolet passenger cars. "We still want to build awareness."

One of GM's most important launches in 2013 is the redesigned 2014 Impala. A six-cylinder version of the Impala will go on sale in the first quarter and the full rollout will take place soon after that.

GM hopes to squeeze more retail sales out of the Impala. About two-thirds of 2013 Impala sales are to less-profitable fleet customers, while retail represents one-third, said Jon Hahn, marketing manager for the Impala and Malibu.

Hahn said GM hopes to flip that equation with the 2014 Impala, making the fleet market represent only one-third of sales.

Read More: A big rollout of new product will be led by Impala, Spark and Silverado
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