Modest congratulations to the people of General Motors: the carmaker's 2013 Chevrolet Spark hatchback reached 2000 sales during its first month on sale in the United States.
The Spark is GM's new hope to capture younger car buyers, many of whom would otherwise look at pre-owned cars. The five-door hatchback starts at just $12,995, making it one of the least expensive cars on the market, and is powered by a 1.25-liter four-cylinder engine making just 84 hp. That's $1665 and 54 horsepower less than the next least expensive Chevrolet, the Sonic sedan.
WardsAuto reports that the tiny Chevrolet hatchback crested 2000 sales this month, a sign of modest success for the car. Of those sales, roughly half are the mid-level 1LT (which starts at $14,500), while the base LS model accounts for 30 percent and the top-spec, and the $15,500 2LT gets about 15 percent of sales. Strangely, GM predicts just under one-third of buyers will opt for a manual transmission, a take-rate many times higher than on other compact cars.
Sales aren't bad, but that's not to say the Spark doesn't have its work cut out for it: the hatchback's fiercest competitor, the Fiat 500, sells between 3- and 4000 units a month, after sales initially faltered in 2011. General Motors says the Spark's sales trajectory will trend up, thanks to the car's lower average transaction price (it's about $14,000) and the fact that the Spark's engine takes regular unleaded to the Fiat's recommended premium fuel, a boon for drivers who are leery of gas prices. The smallest Chevrolet is also only on sale in 18 cities right now: New York; Philadelphia; Washington; Boston; Chicago; Detroit; St. Louis; Atlanta; Tampa; Orlando; Dallas; Los Angeles; San Francisco; and Portland, Oregon.
Will the Spark be a runaway sales hit? Probably not, but we'll have to wait and see just how many people will snatch up the tiny hatch.
(All prices listed include destination charges.)