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Apr10

Going Sparkless? Korea Thinking of Discontinuing America’s Smallest GM Car

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Image: General Motors

Final week it was the subcompact Chevrolet Sonic and a report that the little 4- or 5-door might chew the mud by the top of this yr. Now we hear the Spark — Common Motors’ smallest U.S. providing — may be on its option to the nameplate graveyard.

Oddly, the Reuters report, which cites a GM Korea spokesman, comes just some days after the revealing of the refreshed 2019 Spark. Like different Gamma II platform small automobiles, the Spark involves us by approach of Korea. As you understand, that embattled division is at present struggling for survival, and it doesn’t very similar to the look of America’s falling Spark gross sales.

So, what would exchange the Spark and provides GM Korea’s threatened factories a safer product guess? You already know the reply to this. A crossover.

We detailed the Spark’s gross sales historical past after wanting on the modifications coming for 2019. Gross sales of the little metropolis car fell persistently within the U.S. after 2014, with 2018 quantity down 2.7 % on the finish of March. On the similar time, Canadian consumers are taking to the mannequin in ever larger numbers, although not sufficient to offset the American loss.

chevy spark 2018 mint green

An unspecified crossover, certainly constructed on the automaker’s small car structure, might supply the division a reprieve. GM Korea must current the nation’s authorities with a marketing strategy earlier than the top of April as a way to safe Seoul’s help. Meaning first crafting a product plan, liberating up working funds, and reaching a cope with its militant labor union. Already, GM Korea has threatened chapter within the hopes of robust-arming concessions. Unionized staff responded by trashing government workplaces.

If GM Korea pulls itself out of this mess, the Spark gained’t disappear in a single day. The spokesman stated manufacturing of the Spark-changing crossover wouldn’t start till 2022. Within the meantime, Opel proprietor PSA Group plans to convey manufacturing of the Opel Karl (a rebadged Spark) to Europe by 2020, additional reducing output at GM’s Korean factories.

America’s nonetheless scorching-promoting subcompact Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore crossovers journey atop the identical Gamma II structure because the Spark and Sonic, which suggests any new vehicle must keep away from stepping on these fashions’ toes. Is American curious about a sub-subcompact Chevy utility vehicle?

Apparently, the Spark already out there in gentle-roader Activ configuration. This mighty beast boasts zero.four inches of further floor clearance and a modest dose of physique cladding, however its shortage on vendor tons and roadways exhibits that consumers demand a bit extra functionality to go together with their off-street pretentions.

[Images: General Motors]

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