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We’ve already reported that 82% of Americans can’t actually afford new cars. Now that 2024 moves into Q2, we see this concept reflected in automaker sales reports. One insightful takeaway from Q1 GM sales data is the swarthy boost the Chevrolet Trax gained. The compact SUV outsold all Cadillac models combined in Q1, a 581% bump in sales year-over-year. Here’s why.

With a starting price of only $21,495, the 2024 Trax is proving very appealing to U.S. buyers seeking an entry-level SUV with modern amenities. Strikingly, GM reported 37,588 units sold in Q1. All model Cadillacs combined capped at 35,451.

A red 2024 Chevrolet Trax compact SUV shown in a dark garage space with headlights glowing in right front angle view
2024 Chevrolet Trax | Chevrolet

The second-gen Chevrolet Trax is proving highly adoptable

The Chevrolet Trax has been around for some time now. It was released in the U.S. market in 2015 after spending a couple of years abroad. Presently, 2023 marked the first year of its second generation. Chevy has said that the second-gen Trax is so different from the first that it considered releasing it under a different model name.

The redesign has been well-received by industry experts and consumers alike. Significantly, the exterior was fully updated to a much more modern silhouette, with some folks aligning it with Subaru, Mazda, Acura, and other sportier, performance-leaning brands.

The Trax has a 1.2L four-cylinder turbo engine with a 137 horsepower output. It has a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drivetrain. It gets an estimated 30 mpg combined fuel economy.

In Q1 2023, the Trax had 6,465 units sold. Q1 2024 touts a near-600% increase. Unquestionably, this uptick deserves a highlight.

All things considered, its performance is on the lower end of the scale here. Nevertheless, with its new look, the Trax is clearly gaining U.S. popularity. Q1 sales reports arrive as automakers feel increased internal and external pressure to convert their lineups to EVs – a concept many Americans have been hesitant to adopt rapidly. 

Citing production cost barriers and gaps in infrastructure, China’s competitive EV market assertions, and today’s breaking rumor that Tesla has canceled its entry-level EV, it could be some while before U.S. residents stop buying cheap ICE cars. In due time, ICE passenger car production will likely cease.

Cadillac’s 2024 luxury SUV lineup isn’t for the slim-walleted

Contrastingly, the Cadillac lineup consists of six luxury SUVs. As such, it begins at the XT4 with a starting price of $37,895. Its largest offering, the Escalade, starts at $81,895. In Q1 2024, the XT4 actually fell almost 30% to just 4,879 units. The newest Escalade trim, the IQ, is incoming and is expected to start at around $130,000. The EV SUV will weigh nearly 9,000 lbs and have a range of more than 400 miles.

Obviously, the typical Cadillac buyer isn’t going to be interested in an entry-level compact SUV. However, the Q1 Chevrolet Trax numbers show such wild improvement over 2023 that it’ll be interesting to see how Chevy responds to the data longer term.

Source: GM