Chevrolet is earning success with Spark and Sonic

Article by Christian A., on June 20, 2014

Chevrolet is just one of two brands – the other is Toyota’s Scion -- that offer both a subcompact and a minicar in the United States, the Sonic and the Spark. That move has paid dividends. Sales of Chevrolet Sparks were 34,130 in 2013 and 18,591 in the first five months of 2014 (up 28 per cent). The good thing is that the Spark’s success doesn’t seem to be at the expense of the Sonic.

In fact, sales of the Sonic grew 5 percent in the first five months of 2014 to 40,672. Likewise, the Sonic had the second-highest average transaction price of $17,585 among the top seven subcompacts so far in 2014, according to TrueCar.

The popularity of both the Sonic has allowed Chevrolet to outsell Toyota, Honda, Ford and Hyundai in the subcompact market. However, Toyota and Honda still lord over the compact segment with their Corolla and Civic offerings.

IHS analyst Tom Libby, however, said that Chevrolet could hit more success it can graduate those buyers through its lineup. Libby warned that rivalry in the segment could toughen up more as Honda is slated to introduce a redesigned 2015 Fit, which has been gaining critical acclamation.

General Motors decided to introduce the South Korea-made Spark to the United States in 2008, when gasoline prices were increasing past $4 a gallon.

The minicar was launched overseas in 2009 and finally made its way into the US in 2012, a year after GM introduced the Sonic in the country. GM has sold over 900,000 Sparks globally since the minicar was launched.

From every angle, Chevrolet Sonic sedan and five-door models convey strength, stability and refinement. A wide, planted stance, with wheels-at-the-corners proportions, convey performance. Progressive, raked body lines suggest movement even when the car is stationary.

Aggressive cues, including fender flares and motorcycle-inspired round headlamps, are blended with global design cues - a dual-element grille and round taillamps - for a design instantly recognizable as Chevrolet. The leading edge of the hood forms a character line above the headlamps, which flows in a sleek side profile characterized by uninterrupted body side lines, a high beltline and low roofline. The side mirrors carry the same shape as the car and seemingly disappear into the profile.

The sedan and five-door models are distinctively different. The five-door model carries a tight, two-box shape with aggressive, diving feature lines, while the sedan's "notchback" profile has a more upscale and mature presence. At first glance, the five-door model looks like a three-door hatch because the rear door handles are discreetly located in the "C"-pillar area. The rear of the five-door continues with unconventional details, including exposed, motorcycle-inspired rear taillamps.

Details that reinforce Chevrolet Sonic's quality and attention to detail include chrome grille surrounds and matte black honeycomb grille inserts on all models, while a range of large wheel sizes, including 17-inch alloy wheels, reinforces its sporty demeanor.

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