Detroit – General Motors Two new crossovers from Chevrolet and Buick are being rolled out as answers to the affordability problems left by discontinued, cheap sedans.

Affordability is increasingly becoming a concern for investors and consumers. Cox Automotive reports that the average price of a new vehicle has soared to $48,600 this year. That’s up about $5,200 from two years ago and $11,700 from five years ago. Cox said the price hikes have driven about 10 percent of traditional new-car buyers out of the market.

Like its crosstown rivals, GM has largely stopped making traditional sedans in favor of popular large crossovers. The problem is that these small vehicles are some of the cheapest in the business and have yet to be replaced by anything close in size and price.

While non-domestic automakers such as Toyota Automotive and Hyundai Motor Continuing to offer the sedan, prices have risen steadily, and availability of those options has been low in recent years due to supply chain issues.

“Automakers have decided to focus on bigger, more expensive, more profitable vehicles, especially It was during the chip crisis.” “But there is clearly a demand for cheaper vehicles.”

GM’s all-new 2024 Buick Envista and redesigned 2024 Chevrolet Trax crossover start at $22,400 and $20,400, respectively. That makes them priced competitively with sedans from other automakers.

The Trax and Envista are sedan-like in profile and styling, but have roomier interiors, like the company’s current small crossovers.

2024 Chevrolet Trax (left) and 2024 Buick Envista

Michael Whelan/CNBC

Buick and Chevrolet executives said they expect the cars to be among the best-selling vehicles as production ramps up and the crossovers are imported from South Korean factories.

“If you’re selling $60,000 per vehicle, you’re effectively limiting the brand’s ability to attract new buyers. Vehicles like the Envista are strategically important … that’s only going to help us Opens up a whole new audience,” Buick Sam Russell marketing director told CNBC.

The Envista is expected to be one of Buick’s best-selling models, Russell said, describing some potential customers as “segment orphans” where sedans are scarce.

Chevy slashed all of its sedans except the Malibu, and expects the Trax (a familiar name for the brand, but an all-new car) to be its third-best-selling model. That would put the Trax behind the Silverado full-size pickup and the Equinox compact crossover, but ahead of the Chevrolet Tahoe, which sold more than 105,000 vehicles last year.

“There’s no question we’re very bullish on the car, but I’m really bullish that Chevrolet hasn’t lost its mind,” Chevrolet marketing chief Steve Majoros said of cutting its cheapest car. . “These are the vehicles Americans want, and Chevrolet hasn’t forgotten that.”

New Envista and Trax

The Envista and Trax come with many standard safety and convenience features above what GM has historically offered for entry-level vehicles. Both cars are powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged inline-three that produces 137 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque.

The new Trax and Envista are siblings, as they share the same platform and have a similar interior and silhouette. The vehicles are differentiated by front and rear design tweaks as well as the vehicle’s controls.

“Entry-level vehicles are evolving from typically unassuming sedans and hatchbacks into compelling alternatives. GM has reimagined the roles of the latest Trax and Envista, offering entry-level buyers expressive options ,” said Paul Waatti, GM Industry Insights Manager. Auto Pacific. “They should revive sales of GM’s lower-end product portfolio and start replenishing some entry-level models that have been eliminated.”

Both are priced in line with the brands’ more traditional, smaller crossovers: the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Buick Encore GX. These vehicles sit more upright and look more compact than the longer and arguably roomier Trax and Envista. However, the Trailblazer and Encore GX don’t offer all-wheel drive.

2024 Chevrolet Trax (right) and 2024 Buick Envista

Michael Whelan/CNBC

Executives at Chevrolet and Buick said they believed the new vehicles would attract a flood of new buyers to the brand, helping GM boost sales and market share.

“The Encore GX is what we call the loyalty game. What it has to do is build on the success of the first generation,” Buick’s Russell said. “Envista, our vision is, this is our conquering champion.”

GM’s U.S. sales in the first half of the year were Sales rose more than 18 percent to about 1.3 million vehicles as supply chain issues in the auto industry stabilized.

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