GM is optimistic that its Chevrolet Spark could compete in the United States despite lacking a specific target market for the Korea-made minicar. Cristi Landy, Spark marketing director, admitted that they haven’t set a specific target for the Spark, adding that since the minicar concept is new to the US, they are venturing into an environment with plenty of unknowns.
The Spark minicar is marketed to people who are living and driving around a congested environment like a city. The Spark is just 144.7 inches long; 14.3 inches shorter than Chevrolet Sonic hatchback and just 5.1 inches longer than the Fiat 500.
With its small dimensions, the Spark is an effective way to move around a congested area, making it a viable product in cities where roads are filled with moving objects and there are limited parking spaces. Chevrolet is currently marketing the Spark in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Mexico.
It could be a different story in the US, where one could quickly more from one place to another through wide roads and the interstate, according to Bob Casparian, Spark product manager.
Chevrolet, however, is marketing the car at consumers living in large cities where a minicar can make the difference in finding a parking space. The US version of the Spark will be assembled by GM Korea and will have the lowest price tag among Chevrolet products, beating the Sonic five-speed manual variant, which can be bought at $14,660.
The Chevrolet Spark for the US will be powered by GM’s new 85.2-hp, 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine; which is more powerful than the 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that runs the other versions. Casparian said the US Spark’s powertrain provides the best balance of power and fuel economy for North American road system, although the company has yet to disclose the figures for the minicar. Chevrolet will start selling the Spark in the US in July 2012, making it go up against the Fiat 500, Scion iQ and Smart ForTwo.