In another attempt to appeal to Japanese buyers with its small cars, General Motors Co. intends to sell the Korea-built Chevrolet Aveo in Japan next fall. The latest-generation Aveo, which recently debuted at the Paris Auto Show, has a sportier look that is targeted at younger buyers.
GM is hoping that this subcompact as an entry model would reel in Japanese customers to consider its upmarket models such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette.
Earlier this month, Sumito Ishii, managing director of GM Asia Pacific Japan, said that the Aveo will “appeal to those looking for a sporty image, people in their 20s or 30s who love the Camaro or Corvette but can't afford those models.”
Its release is well-timed as GM will soon lack a small offering in Japan. Suzuki Motor Corp. has been supplying GM with the Chevrolet MW -- a rebadged version of its Solio. However, production of the car ended this year after Suzuki formed a capital alliance with Volkswagen AG.
Ishii believes that Chevrolet MW loyalists may turn to the Aveo as their replacement. This is expected to add traffic in GM showrooms because the MW was sold through Suzuki channels.
He didn’t specify a Japanese sales target for the Aveo but he said it could account for a quarter of GM's volume in Japan. GM expects Japan sales to still be flat this year at around 1,000.
Furthermore, Ishii noted though that strip out brands that the automaker has dropped, such as Hummer and Saab, and sales of the remaining nameplates have gone up. [via autonews - sub. required]