DETROIT - Chevrolet reported that it has increased sales to small businesses for three consecutive months, with Chevrolet dealers recording a 36-percent increase in small-business sales. The company said that sales to small businesses significantly outpaced the total sales increase nationally during the fourth quarter of 2010.
“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. “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.”
|Small Business Sales||+15%||+39%||+54%|
Chevrolet stated that business owners’ increased confidence, combined with the increasing age of U.S. vehicles, suggests small-business sales will continue to grow. According to RL Polk and Co., the average vehicle age has increased to 10.2 years through October, 2009.
Chevrolet interviewed two small businesses, Mark Fischer, vice president of Katch Kan USA in Houston, which provides support for the oil-drilling industry in Texas, and Sunwest Air Conditioning in Costa Mesa, Calif.
“We have experienced a lot of growth over the past couple of years,” said Katch Kan’s Fischer. “In 2008, we had six employees and two trucks in the field. Last week, we just added an eighth truck to the fleet, a new Silverado 1500, to support 25 employees working in the field 24/7.”
Sunwest recently purchased two new Silverado HD trucks with service bodies to replace older vehicles in their fleet.
“We have nine trucks in our fleet, some with a lot of miles, said Sunwest owner Mark Dalessi. “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."
In November, Dalessi bought a Silverado to replace a truck with 250,000 miles. He then bought another Silverado in December, replacing a truck with 200,000 miles.