General Motors is withdrawing its decision to offer only three-cylinder engines in its cars for the Chinese market. Recently, it made an aggressive decision to offer only three-cylinder Chevrolet and Buick models to the world’s largest car market. However, it seems such a decision has proven to be the wrong one, as sales for both vehicles have dropped by a good margin.
China sales rate of GM motors plummeted to 3.09 million cars, which is a 115% drop. It’s the lowest level GM Motors have gone since 2012.
The Chinese market still wants options
Three-cylinder gasoline engines are more fuel-efficient and cleaner than the traditional four-cylinder engines. This is why many automakers are promoting them in the market that has the highest energy conservative rules.
However, while other car companies still offer the four-cylinder alternative, GM went too far by completely discontinuing four-cylinder engines in some of its cars. Close sources say the decision has negatively impacted the company’s sales rate for those cars.
When compared to other companies like BMW and Honda, these companies still offer four-cylinder cars along with the three-cylinder models. Although the three-cylinder models have their benefits, there are consumers who still prefer the four-cylinder models. So, if GM continues with the production of only three-cylinder models for those cars, it’s likely going to lose some customers to other competitors.
Those Chinese consumers who still prefer four-cylinder cars perceive the three-cylinder models are noisier and susceptible to vibration.
According to the manager at one of GM’s dealerships in Shanghai, the decision was too radical and aggressive. It came early without proper consideration of what the market actually needs. The sales manager, while issuing a statement regarding the company’s decision, decided to stay anonymous because he was not authorized to speak to the media.
He said his company, along with hundreds of other dealerships, asked GM Motors to change their decision during the past dealer conference.
GM Motors trying to cover grounds
The coronavirus outbreak has affected lots of businesses and industries. The sales rates of many car companies have dwindled since the outbreak. And GM has also lost a lot of grounds during this period, as production has not been at full capacity.
GM will be reintroducing the four-cylinder engine models to accommodate users that prefer them. With this reintroduction, GM can try to get back on track regarding its sales levels. The outbreak is adding to the already difficult business environment caused by slow economic activity.