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For the eighth year in a row, the Festivals of Speed marked a culmination of luxury, performance and automotive design.
Chevrolet has sold 2.35 million vehicles globally in the first six months of 2011, setting sales records in all the top five markets. The first six months of 2011 was the best half year performance in Chevrolet’s 100-year history. The American automaker sold 286,499 more vehicles in the first half of 2011 than the same time period of 2010, a 14-percent increase year over year.
The automaker set record first-half sales in several countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Columbia, Denmark, Ecuador, France, South Africa and Turkey. Chevrolet’s growth has been credited to the new wave of models including the Cruze compact car, Spark mini car, Sonic small car, and Orlando MPV. The Chevy Malibu midsize car and the all-new Colorado compact pickup will soon join the previously mentioned vehicles when they go on sale later this year globally.
Chevrolet has announced major plans to expand not just its product offerings but also its sales totals in Europe over the next five years. The Chevy brand in Europe is planning the introduction of six new models in the near future and believes these new offerings will help it double its current sales totals in the region.
The list of new vehicles includes the Spark city car (above) and Orlando seven-seat MPV (below left), as well as the Cruze compact and Volt (below right) and a new version of the Aveo. All five of these models are also scheduled for the U.S. market in the near future. In addition, Europe will also get a Cruze hatchback.
Currently Chevy has just eight vehicles in Europe and according to Chevy Europe president Wayne Brannon, the market can sustain 12 or 13 different vehicles. (Some of the new Chevy offerings will replace outgoing models). The doubling of sales by 2015 should see Chevrolet selling as many as one million units a year in Europe.
GM’s new communications boss has confirmed that the automaker is looking at equipping the upcoming Orlando MPV with a plug-in hybrid system similar to the one used in the Chevy Volt.
Jon Lauckner, VP of global program management at GM hinted at this earlier this year and now Lutz is being more specific telling GM-Volt.com that, “We are actually studying the adaptation of Volt technology to the upcoming Orlando.”
But considering Lutz’s “yes we will, no we won’t” about-face on the Pontiac G8, we’ll take pretty much anything he says with a grain of salt from now on.
What makes the Orlando such a strong candidate, however, is that it’s based on the Volt’s platform. That being said, many of the same parts could likely be carried over from the Volt to make the Orlando a Plug-In Hybird Electric Vehicle (PHEV).
The highly anticipated Chevrolet Orlando is apparently not one of the top priorities at General Motors – despite the increasing popularity of similar crossovers (like the Ford Flex and Toyota Venza) in the marketplace.
According to Automotive News, the Orlando is no longer scheduled to go into production later this year. Local UAW rep George McGregor told the media outlet that GM management had informed him that work on the Orlando will not start at the Hamtramck plant in 2009 as expected. He did not provide any information on when production of the new model, and its Opel sibling, will begin.
Those looking forward to the new seven-seater model shouldn’t be to worried, however, as it is not a concept but a “future production vehicle” accoriding to General Motors – although these days nothing is really safe.
The Chevrolet Orlando first broke ground at the Paris Auto Show and made its U.S. debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. At both shows it featured a 150hp 2.0-liter turbo-diesel under the hood, which, while a definite possibility for the Opel model, is unlikely to make it stateside. Instead, look for a traditional 3.6-liter V6.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Orlando
[Source: AutoNews via AutoBlog]
Beat to be called the Spark when unveiled at Geneva Motor Show this March
Chevrolet today announced that the Orlando Concept, unveiled at last year’s Paris Auto Show, and the Beat Conecpt showcased in at the North American International Auto Show in 2007 will go into production in 2011.
Little is know about either vehicle but the Beat production model, called the Spark, will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show in March.
GM says the Spark micro-car will get 40 mpg on the highway. There was, however, no word on if this impressive fuel economy will be a result of the turbocharged 1.2-liter engine.
As for the Orlando, this aggressive van-meets-suv crossover was powered by a 150hp 2.0-liter turbo when showcased in Paris.
Both vehicles will be sold in almost all markets as true world-cars. And if the production models look nearly as impressive as the concepts they are sure to be successful.
Chevrolet started the Beat/Orlando press conference by parading a long line of its recent award winning vehicles in front of the media. The Orlando and Spark are sure to join this list in the future, however, the 2011 production date is a long way off.
Official release on both vehicles after the jump: