The market is speaking and four-cylinders are winning. This is spurring an abandonment of V-6 engines in mainstream models up and down the spectrum. Ever since their introduction, the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain crossovers have been very hot-selling vehicles for General Motors.
In fact, we’ve consistently heard of production shortages, and the plant producing them is currently running full-tilt. This because it just debuted either; they’ve been on the market for a few years. With fuel prices like they are, the Equinox has captured a lot of buyers looking to move down from larger SUVs.
As you might expect, the 2.4-liter four-cylinder is the most popular model, making up 79 percent of Equinox sales in February.
With a rating from the EPA of 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway, the four-cylinder is the model we would opt for as well. According to Automotive News, the four is in such demand that there is a shortage of them across the country. GM is working with suppliers to increase deliveries of key components says GM spokesman Jim Cain. In order to help boost sales of the V-6 model, GM is offering a rebate of $1,500. Basically, GM is paying customers to take the premium engine option.
That isn’t to say the six-cylinder isn’t selling well itself though; it sits on the lots an average of 39 days versus 30 days, both very low by industry standards. Given the shortages, GM is restricting orders of the four and requiring orders for the six. This isn’t making dealers too happy. Eduart Lala, sales manager at Herb Chambers Chevrolet Cadillac in Massachusetts says “I have to cringe when I order a six.”
Dealers don’t always get to order what they want though; that’s the way the dealer/manufacturer franchise relationship works. Hopefully for GM it can get the situation figured out so that sales won’t suffer. With gas prices the way they are and no end in sight, this could be a very key issue for GM going forward.