2013 Chevrolet Spark, road test, January 2013Enlarge Photo
Who'da thunk it?
Young buyers may love Camaros and Mustangs, but when it comes to smaller cars, American brands have traditionally played second best to imports.
But the Chevrolet Spark minicar is proving much more successful, bucking all the trends. It's even stealing plenty of buyers off its rivals.
The clue is in the age of many Spark buyers--almost a third are under 35. While their parents may not have been keen on American small cars, Generation Y 'Millenial' buyers have it way better--and Spark sales are igniting.
Chevy's survey also suggests that nearly 54 percent of Spark sales are the all-important 'conquest sales'. That means buyers are defecting from other brands to buy the Spark--and more than a fifth of Spark buyers are coming from an import brand.
Over half of Sparks are bought by women, while nearly a quarter of buyers are choosing the spicy Salsa Red you see in the image above--the same color as our recent test car.
In that test, the Spark achieved some impressive gas mileage figures too, against its EPA-rated 34 mpg combined.
While a small gas tank hampered range, we saw economy of over 35 mpg in a mix of freeway, town and country routes. As driving gets ever more expensive, the appeal of a small, fuel-efficient model is growing--particularly for younger buyers.
Fuel economy and price to value are proving the two most important purchasing factors for early Spark buyers--and we can see plenty more following in their footsteps. Indeed, the Spark has been selling well since its early months.
Over 12,000 have been sold in the U.S. since last summer. As availability expands into all 50 states, that should improve further.