GM to import more Chevrolet Spark minicars in the US as sales surge

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 15, 2012

After having had a successful launch of Chevrolet Spark minicars, General Motors is now increasing the imports that will be offered in the U.S. GM had just lately increased its order for Sparks from the plant located in Korea that builds the car. Cristi Landy, marketing director for Chevrolet small cars, told Automotive News that the market has reacted strongly to the model.

She declined to say the number of Sparks imported in the initial prediction and the number being requested. Last July, GM held the launch of the Spark in 18 metro U.S. markets. A total of 6,313 Sparks were sold in the first two months, encouraging GM executives and dealers. Before the Spark was launched, IHS Automotive predicted that it will sell 27,000 in 2013, which would be the first full year that the car would be available in the U.S.

So far, the sales pace indicates that GM is on course to surpass this total on an annual basis. Landy revealed that the labor troubles in Korea this summer interrupted several Spark shipments to the U.S. Korean workers participated in partial strikes and this resulted to some loss in production. A deal was reached between the company and the Korean labor union last August.

Landy said that GM is doing what it can to make up for the units lost and is currently increasing shipments to exceed the original forecast of the company.

A company spokeswoman said that the Korea plant has capacity for about 200,000 units annually. The units produced at this plant are also sent to Korea, India, Mexico and other markets. Landy said that dealerships have been requesting for more Sparks and with this strong demand, the company would have to increase production.

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