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Chevrolet cars aren’t exactly a hit over in Japan, and based on the brand’s Tokyo Auto Salon presence, it’s not hard to see why.
The Saturn Vue is back, but you won’t be able to buy one. That’s because the Chevrolet Captiva Sport, essentially a rebadged Vue, will only be available to fleet customers.
With either a 2.4L Ecotec 4-cylinder or a 3.0L direct injection V6, the Captiva will offer an adequate powertrain for all types of customers, but we would think that fleet buyers would choose the 4-cylinder in light of the way gas prices are going up with no end in sight.
Having already been homologated for U.S. sales, the Captiva Sport should offer Chevrolet a good way to keep up in the all-important fleet market without compromising resale values of products like the Equinox crossover or the larger Traverse.
In one of the most bizarre stories we’ve ever seen at Autoguide, GM’s Chevrolet division revealed during a financial briefing that their share of the passenger car market is 98.6 percent in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan.
You might recall that ex-Soviet strongmen were often famous for getting consistently re-elected with 99.9% of the population voting for them, but how does a car company (an American one at that) gain such a foothold in a country steeped in dire poverty and ethnic violence?
According to InsideLine, GM owns a 25 percent stake in the local auto factory, a partnership between Daewood and Uzbek automaker UzAvutoSanoat. Since GM owns Daewoo, the plant, which is capable of cranking out 250,000 cars per year, is producing the Matiz, Lacetti and Captiva (pictured) for the domestic market and export to other countries. We’re not sure how many vehicles can be sold in a country where roughly half the population lives on less than $1.25 a day, but we do know that owning a Captiva must be equivalent to rolling around in an Escalade.
[Source: Inside Line]