Minimal Fallout in Chevrolet Showrooms in GM Recall Crisis


  • 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt Picture

    2007 Chevrolet Cobalt Picture

    GM's ongoing recall crisis has not discouraged Chevrolet Cobalt owners' loyalty to the company and the Chevrolet brand, an Edmunds analysis found. | June 05, 2014

Just the Facts:
  • GM's ongoing recall crisis has not discouraged Chevrolet Cobalt owners' loyalty to the company and the Chevrolet brand, an Edmunds analysis found.
  • GM dealers are in the process of making repairs on 2.6 million small cars, including the 2005-'10 Chevrolet Cobalt, in the delayed ignition-switch recall.

SANTA MONICA, California GM's ongoing recall crisis has not discouraged Chevrolet Cobalt owners' loyalty to the company and the Chevrolet brand, an Edmunds analysis found.

GM dealers are in the process of making repairs on 2.6 million small cars in the delayed ignition-switch recall, including the 2005-'10 Chevrolet Cobalt. GM said 13 fatalities are linked to the recall, which involved defective ignition switches that could lead to the airbags being disabled in a crash. A GM internal report on Thursday found a "pattern of incompetence and neglect" within GM's ranks that led to 11 years of delays in recalling the cars.

However, Edmunds' data shows that the recalls may actually be helping to turn Cobalt owners into new car buyers — and GM buyers, specifically.

In May, 49 percent of people trading in a Cobalt for a new car purchased a GM product. That's a higher automaker loyalty rate than before the recalls.

During the period of March-May 2014, there were 21 percent more Cobalt trade-ins than in the same period in 2013.

The data shows that 46 percent of owners who traded in their Cobalt in May bought a new Chevrolet. That's the highest brand loyalty rate since October 2012.

The most popular car purchased with a Cobalt trade-in is the Chevrolet Cruze. In May, 22 percent of Cobalts traded in were exchanged for Cruzes.

"The data suggests that, for the most part, recalls have not discouraged Cobalt owners' loyalty to GM and Chevy," said Jessica Caldwell, an Edmunds senior analyst. "GM has done a good job communicating new-car deals to affected Cobalt owners, many of whom were probably getting close to buying a new car anyway.

"These deals look very appealing to outgoing Cobalt owners, especially if they personally haven't had major problems with their GM vehicles in the past."

Edmunds says: An interesting data dive into how Cobalt owners have behaved since the recalls were first announced in February.

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