June marked an important milestone for General Motors South Africa (GMSA) when the Chevrolet Corsa Utility exceeded 170 000 sales.
The Utility continues to dominate the three quarter ton pick-up segment in South Africa. Motor industry sales figures for May showed a market share of 46,6% for the first five months of 2011. During this time the Corsa Utility extended its unbroken period as the number one seller in its segment to 74 months.
Produced at the Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth, this light commercial vehicle (LCV) first came into the market in February 1997. The Utility also holds number one position in quality for the past six years in a row as measured by the Synovate Quality Survey. In the last survey the Chevrolet Corsa Utility scored 50 problems per 100 vehicles, whilst its nearest competitors in second and third position scored 123 and 186 problems per 100 vehicles respectively.
According to Malcolm Gauld, GMSA vice president of sales and marketing, the success of the Corsa Utility is ascribed to its superior built-in quality and superb after sales support which its owners enjoy. “This feisty three quarter ton vehicle has surpassed its competitors in the Synovate Quality Survey since 2005,” said Gauld.
He added that the Utility scored a gold award in the Competitor Customer Experience for sales and service quality in the 2010 survey by Synovate. “The success of this vehicle is attributed to its exceptional quality, stylish good looks and proven reliability,” said Gauld.
In addition the locally built Utility also received an Initial Quality Award in the Compact Pick-up segment from JD Power and Associates in the 2010 survey.
“The quality awards are a direct result of quality consciousness in our manufacturing operations,” Gauld added.
Having undergone a brand change just over a year ago, Gauld said that the Utility’s popularity has continued to strengthen. “In fact sales volumes of the Utility increased by more than 12% from 2009 to 2010,” he confirmed.
A key factor in this success is the fact that the Corsa Utility has redefined the small utility vehicle sector in terms of interior space, load carrying ability – with a best payload in class of 790 kg for the diesel and 680 kg for the 1.4 entry level model – style, and features. These provide the Corsa Utility with a high level of appeal for the serious business user while providing a comfortable second car option for the private buyer where it fills both utility and leisure vehicle roles.