2013 Chevy Spark Proves Popular With Non-GM Customers

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2013 Chevrolet Spark

2013 Chevrolet Spark

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When General Motors launched the Chevrolet Volt back in 2010, the plug-in hybrid increased GM’s market share by bringing customers to the brand who would have never before thought of purchasing a Chevy

Now it seems, the 2013 Spark is following in the Volt’s tire tracks. 

According to Automotive News (subscription required), Chevrolet’s new minicar is proving a real magnet for first-time Chevrolet customers looking for a cheap, fuel-efficient car. 

These so-called ‘conquest’ buyers -- customers who are new to GM -- account for 54 percent of all Spark sales. 

It isn’t just college kids -- one of the Spark’s key target markets -- who are buying the $12,995 minicar either. While 30 percent of buyers are under 35 years old, GM is finding everyone from seniors to soccer moms want one. 

And it isn’t just large cities on the east or west coast, either. 

The 2013 Spark is even proving popular in areas traditionally dominated by pickup trucks. 

As Automotive News reports, one dealer, located just outside Austin, Texas, has sold all 16 of its launch allocation of 2013 Sparks. 

More used to selling pickups than it is cars, the dealer has promptly ordered another 25 Sparks. 

2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar, New York City, Aug 2012

2013 Chevrolet Spark minicar, New York City, Aug 2012

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Aside from sales, which are already much higher than GM initially thought they would be, the funky hatchback is also helping other GM sales too. 

Just as dealers discovered with the Volt, customers who come into Chevrolet dealers for the first time to test-drive a Spark may end up buying another Chevy instead.

Just like the Volt, the Spark is a halo car for the rest of the Chevrolet brand.

A small, fuel-efficient Chevrolet enticing car buyers away from other brands, and perhaps even helping Chevrolet sell other cars as well?

The dawn of the American minicar might have finally arrived.

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Comments (10)
  1. Not enough information. How about interior space and MPG?

  2. I'd pick up a Spark EV once it is available. But I doubt it will make it to my area (Southeastern Pennsylvania) until well into 2014 or 2015.

  3. I thought the Spark was made in Korea. So, it hardly qualifies as an American minicar.

  4. Bret, there never was a claim that the Spark was American, rather, simply that the popularity of minicars is growing in the U.S.

    How many of the current minicars or subcompacts sold in the U.S. are made here? A couple may actually be compacts, these are just from memory...

    Fiat 500: Mexico
    Spark: S. Korea (as well as India, China, etc. for other markets)
    Scion Xb: Japan
    Hyundai Accent: S. Korea
    Ford Focus: US
    Ford Fiesta: Mexico
    Toyota Yaris: Japan
    Honda Fit: Japan
    Chevrolet Sonic: US

    In most cases, vehicles were both engineered and built outside the U.S. So, your point would be...? That GM does what every other OEM does, but actually builds here more than its competitors in the smallest vehicle categories...?

  5. What about the Mazda 2???

  6. @Randy, the Mazda 2 is made in either Hiroshima or Hofu Japan. No American production. Now that Mazda has ended production in Flat Rock and announced a new factory to be built in Salamanca, Mexico, there will be zero production for Mazda in the U.S. Much like Hyundai/Kia, the reward to Americans for years of increasing sales is to build the next plants outside the U.S.

  7. To be clear, the Salamanca, Mexico Mazda factory will manufacture the Mazda 2 and 3. Flat Rock production for Mazda ended this August. Now Flat Rock makes only the Mustang, although Ford will certainly add something to fill the unused capacity.

  8. @Robok2: To be fair, Kia assembles its Optima sedan and Sorento crossover at a plant in Georgia it opened in 2009.

  9. Yes, John, I've been there, as well as the one Hyundai plant in Alabama. And now H/K are going to make what percentage of their vehicles here? 40%? Now that sales in the U.S. alone are roughly double production here, the company rewards its customers by announcing a new plant in Mexico. Not official yet, but it will be soon.

    If this were GM or Ford, the attacks would be immediate. Hyundai starts with an already low percentage of vehicles made here and it's dropping, not increasing. Thanks Hyundai/Kia! At least the D3 cars made in Mexico provide engineering jobs here.

  10. @Robok: Wow, vehement (for you). Don't know how much, but Hyundai/Kia have at least some U.S. engineering. Probably not as much as Toyota, Honda, and Nissan do, but there is at least some.

    Also, many analysts feel GM brought jobs back into the U.S. from Mexico under pressure during the bailout. Look at the cost concessions the UAW had to give in the Sonic plant to make it economical to build here (GM sez).

    In terms of onshore manufacturing, I'd class Hyundai/Kia with VW, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz as the second wave. Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and Subaru were the first wave, 15-20 years earlier. I suspect H/K will get there, but it'll take time.

    Also Korean currency isn't as inflated as yen...

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