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When convenience-store chain 7-11 introduced the Big Gulp fountain-drink cup in 1980, many consumers were scandalized by the container’s 32-ounce capacity. Indeed, the quart-size cup seemed massive compared to the 7-ounce returnable bottles Coca-Cola once charmingly considered a single serving. Shoppers got past their large-cup apprehension soon enough, however, as 7-11 would soon roll out 48-ounce Super-Big-Gulp and staggering 64-ounce Double-Gulp containers.
According to a domestic manufacturer of full-sized trucks, 1 in 4 pickups sold today are heavy-duty models. That ought to serve the producer in question—General Motors—quite well, considering that it makes 2 of the 4 brands on the market, and its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra HDs have been redone, as 2015 models, with new exterior styling, interiors, and features.
At a press event a couple years ago, a manufacturer’s rep riding with us in one of his company’s high-end pickups made the comment, “We can’t seem to find the price ceiling that makes our customers balk.” Indeed, this “truck” we were riding in boasted leather upholstery, wood trim, every conceivable power accessory, a sunroof, a navigation system, rear-seat DVD entertainment … and a window sticker close to $50,000.
Between the Chevrolet Silverado and similar GMC Sierra full-size pickups, GM will net more than 700,000 high-profit sales in 2012. That’s not a number to be taken lightly. So any time the company looks to redesign those pickups, it’s a big—and important—deal.
As the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, Chevrolet is gearing up for an All-Star celebration in Kansas City. During MLB All-Star FanFest (this Friday through next Tuesday, the day of the game), fans can drive Camaros, all-new Malibu sedans, and a Corvette on a closed-course test track at Kauffman Stadium. In addition, former and current MLB All-Stars will ride to the ballpark in 75 Chevrolet Silverados and Chevrolet Camaro convertibles during the MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show on Tuesday afternoon. Finally, the winner of the game’s MVP Award will win a Camaro convertible.
Point taken: This is a strange time to try and make any sense of auto sales numbers. Pandemic-depressed auto sales plummeted 35 percent in May and were down 25 percent in June. There’s some indication that consumers are becoming accustomed to doing business in the era of social distancing however, as July sales were only down about 20 percent.