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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
January may be the middle of winter but GM was able to rebuke the cold weather with red-hot sales. The company delivered nearly 195,000 units in the U.S., a 16 percent increase compared to the same month last year.
AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection
Chevrolet is selling the Spark with razor-thin margins. What’s more, the company isn’t trying to hide that. In fact, it’s almost a point of pride, and perhaps one of the most astute choices in recent years.
That’s because you can get one for about $13,000 after delivery. It’s far from being the most exciting car you’ll drive but with such low pricing it makes a convincing case as a first car or budget friendly city machine.
The Spark is meant to work as a brand ambassador, bringing first-time buyers away from other automakers, and based on strong initial sales it seems to be doing just that.
Boring, bland and easy to blend in with but undeniably popular – white is still the most popular car color choice.
Ask anyone older than 55 how cars have changes since the ’70s and they’ll probably mention, among many other things, that they’ve shrunk considerably.
Details about the 2013 Chevrolet Spark have been revealed today, including its price range. Chevy is looking to simplify the car buying process by having three trim levels for its well-equipped subcompact.
Chevrolet calls the 2013 Spark a “sporty, fuel-efficient, four-passenger, five-door hatch” that apparently offers more passenger and cargo space than other mini cars such as the Fiat 500, Smart fortwo and Scion IQ.
The Spark’s base model, the LS starts at $12,995 and is equipped with a 1.2L Ecotec engine and five-speed manual transmission. Additionally, even the base Spark has 10 airbags and features 60/40 split rear seats, air conditioning, power windows, rear window wiper, auxiliary input jack, outside temperature display and trip computer. Not bad for a base model subcompact.
In light of the Volt post-crash fire disaster, GM announced that they are seeking out batteries that are less volatile for their upcoming 2013 Chevy Spark electric car. GM will be switching to a phosphate-based lithium ion battery from A123 Systems Inc. that are less likely to burn than other lithium chemistry, according to the companies.
It’s a testament to how quickly the battery technology is evolving for hybrid and electric cars, with just a two year gap since the Volt was first introduced. Currently GM and other companies are developing future vehicles with lithium phosphate technology because they’re safer and last longer. And why didn’t they do this sooner? Battery manufacturers weren’t ready to mass-produce them until recently.
It’ll be interesting to see if GM will ever get over this hump with the Volt and if sales of future electric cars will be impacted. Some could even argue that GM “jumped the gun” on electric vehicles when they knew better technology was around the corner. More interestingly however is that Jay Whitacre, assistant professor in materials science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh declared, “Safety isn’t the first reason carmakers are selecting it,” Whitacre said. “The batteries have a longer life. A123′s battery will outlast LG Chem’s battery.”
It is worth mentioning that the Volt investigation right now centers around the battery’s pack design and not its chemistry. They believe that any fix will involve the pack.
GALLERY: 2013 Chevrolet Spark
[Source: Automotive News]
Chevrolet’s answer to the Fiat 500, Smart ForTwo and Scion iQ will finally make its debut stateside at the upcoming LA Auto Show. The 2013 Chevy Spark mini car not only offers more passenger and cargo room than its tiny competitors, the hatchback is the only car in the segment to offer a seven-inch color touchscreen radio capable of displaying smart phone-based navigation, media and contacts for hands-free calling.
For the North American market, the 2013 Chevy Spark will be available in 1LT and 2LT models. Both feature a 1.2L DOHC four-cylinder engine with 85-hp and 82 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual is standard while a four-speed automatic can be had as a option. Both models will go on sale starting in mid-2012 for both the United States and Canada.
The 2013 Spark is also the only car in its segment to offer the added value of a five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty alongside the safety and security of OnStar.
Chevy did not include any pricing in its press release, but we’re certain we’ll hear more when the car makes its official revealing on November 16th, 2011 in Los Angeles.
GALLERY: 2013 Chevrolet Spark
Today, General Motors confirmed that the Chevrolet Spark subcompact will be sold in the U.S. The Spark goes into production this month as the smallest car sold by Chevrolet. The General Motors executive director of North American production communications, Jason Laird, confirmed that the vehicle will launch between January to June 2012 as a 2013 model.
The Spark is currently selling in Asian countries and has been a very important model for Chevrolet in the global mini car segment. Laird explained that the ”Spark minicar will give Chevrolet A-B-C-D-E segment coverage for first time in [the] U.S.” The Spark fits in the A segment, the Sonic fits in the B segment, the Cruze fits in the C segment, the Malibu fits in the D segment and the Impala fits in the E segment.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Spark
[Source: Green Car Reports]
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.
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: