If you were one of the 111.3 million people to witness Eli Manning yield his second game-winning drive against the Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl, chances are you caught a glimpse of the all-new Chevy Sonic (it was the funny little hatchback that became the first car to “do everything,” including “play in a band” with Ok Go). Well, not only is the Chevy Sonic the first car destined to be the fifth member of an infamous four-piece pop group, it’s the first vehicle to display an Eco-label.
The Ecologic label (pictured above) will bear environmental data such as fuel-saving technology, end-of-life recyclability and responsible manufacturing. GM announced all Sonic sedans and hatchbacks in the U.S. market will sport eco-labels by the end of February 2012 and all other vehicles bearing the Chevy nameplate for the 2013 model year. In addition to the 7×14 inch green label, Chevy will provide further environmental data and consumer benefits for their fleet at www.chevrolet.com/ecologic.
When asked if there were similar green initiatives to come, Mike Robinson, GM’s vice president of sustainability and regulatory affairs, replied: “You can expect a pretty consistent drumbeat of things coming from GM on the sustainability front.”
So, for the first time in my lifetime, Chevrolet – the brand that brought us muscle cars like the Camaro and Chevelle – is shifting gears. Rather than wrapping itself in Old Glory and selling “the promise of red, white and blue,” the brand will now be running green.
Time will tell if Chevy’s Detroit brethren soon follow suit, or choose a new direction entirely.
Of course, the clear indicator of this program’s success will be an increase in the number of vehicles sold. But will this kind of information become a sign of things to come in the auto industry long-term? Or is this more an opportunity to corner a new and untapped marketing opportunity?