There might be few vehicles as “Canadian” as the Chevrolet Equinox.
Assembled at the General Motors CAMI plant in Ingersoll, Ont., the vehicle has proven to be somewhat of a favourite among drivers and Canadian sales have been stable enough.
Demand for the five-seat compact-utility vehicle has declined in the United States – sales fell 13 per cent to 242,195 units in 2016 – but have remained relatively unchanged in Canada for the last four years. The automaker sold an average of 19,585 units per year here during that time.
And Equinox sales are off to a roaring start this year in Canada, up 53.4 per cent during the first four months of 2017.
So, it was a bit surprising to hear Nicolas Longpré, brand manager for Chevrolet crossovers and electric vehicles, call the 2018 Equinox “the most important launch for Chevrolet this year.”
Early sales could have been worse in Canada had GM not listened to the masses about three years ago. That’s when consumer focus groups told the automaker they didn’t like the proposed redesign.
They viewed it as too bulky with odd styling and felt it wasn’t compelling enough. So, GM went back to the drawing board. Longpré, who wasn’t part of the team at that time, praised the decision.
“At the end of the day, if you look at the product we have today, it’s beautiful, it’s nice, it’s well packaged,” Longpré said. “I think it was a winning strategy because we have a great product right now.”
Inside the Equinox