This morning’s TODAY show was the (unlikely?) platform for GM Vice President of Global Design Ed Welburn to reveal that the Chevrolet Beat concept, which was originally shown at the 2007 New York Auto Show, will re-appear at the 2009 North American International Auto Show—in production form.
Back in July 2008, conflicting reports arose concerning the availability of the Beat in the U.S. market. While several news outlets were reporting that the Beat would be sold in the U.S. because of GM’s free-falling truck sales, GM CEO Bob Lutz said a few days later that the Beat would not make it to our shores, citing incompatibility with U.S. safety regulations. The Beat was not designed to meet safety requirements in the U.S., possibly due to its Korean origins.
Matt Lauer and Welburn talked briefly about the new 2010 Buick LaCrosse and 2010 Chevrolet Camaro before turning their attention to the Beat. Only the grill and front lights of the vehicle were shown. At this point, GM hasn’t released any official information about where the Beat will be available in the U.S. market—but if the minicar truly does debut as a production vehicle this weekend, chances are high we’ll be getting one.
The Beat was originally part of a trio of minicars GM debuted at the 2007 New York Auto Show. The other two vehicles, the Trax and Groove, were less complete than the Beat. After the debut, consumers were encouraged vote for their favorite of the three concepts. While the Groove initially jumped out ahead, the Beat eventually became the most popular of the three concepts.