EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Business

August 4, 2013

New Impala brings converts to Chevrolet

Chevrolet started selling the big, new, 2014 Impala sedan about four months ago. But only in the last two weeks have drivers started to race in to Bill DeLuca Chevrolet Buick GMC to check out the re-made cruiser.

The surge in interest coincides with the recent start of advertising and promotion by Chevrolet, explained Jim Fichera, general sales manager at the Haverhill dealership.

That’s a common pattern, he said. A car maker often launches a new model but lays low for a spell while its factories fill dealer lots. When inventories are sufficient, the company lets loose with advertising.

With Impala, the recent rush of enthusiasm repeats another pattern Fichera sees with other models from General Motors – Detroit-based GM makes Buick, Cadillac and GMC vehicles, in addition to Chevy cars and trucks. Drivers of other brands, especially high-flying foreign brands, are being lured by new introductions arriving at DeLuca.

Fichera first saw the trend with Buick. Now about 50 percent of the cars traded for a new Buick are foreign models.

“Over the past 18 months, I’ve traded more foreign cars than ever before,” he noted. “American cars are built better and they’re more attractive in appearance than they ever have been. We just have to get the foreign car buyer in here to try the product. Then they see the value.”

With Chevy’s 4-month-old, redesigned sedan, Fichera said, “we’re seeing both the traditional Impala customer coming in, and we’re seeing people trade some high-line foreign cars as well.”

Examples from last week include a sedan from luxury-car maker Acura, and a Toyota Avalon, said the sales manager.

The 2014 Impala is the 10th generation of the auto that Chevy first introduced in 1958. Re-engineered and restyled from the tires to the antenna, the new model tips aggressively toward high style and even luxury.

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