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.
What sets the 2013 Chevrolet Spark mini car apart from the competition is that it is so far the only model that has a 7-inch display touch screen that allows for media to be displayed, enable navigation through smart phone, and even support hands-free calling. Despite being a compact, this five-door model has more passenger room, and even offers more cargo space, when compared to other minis like the Scion iQ, Smart fortwo, and the Fiat 500.
Powering it will be the four-cylinder 1.2-liter engine which, when paired to the manual 5-speed transmission, is sure to deliver competitive fuel economy. As a Chevrolet model, it comes with the exclusive MyLink infotainment system which allows for personalized connectivity of Stitcher internet radio and Pandora. This system will be offered for the 1LT and the 2LT version.
According to the brand, it updates this four-passenger hatch particularly for customers coming from Canada and the U.S. Chevrolet hopes that with the bold style and the strong colors, it will be able to attract those living in urban areas and excite first-time customers. It goes without saying that affordability will play an important role as well as maneuverability, fuel efficiency, and safety features like 10 air bags fitted as standard.
Chevrolet Spark will also be the only model in its class to have the security and safety guaranteed by OnStar and a 100,000 mile/5-year powertrain warranty. The 2013 Spark was officially presented to the public during the 2011 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Sales of the 2013 Spark for the U.S. and Canadian markets are expected to begin by the middle of 2012.