Spark's on Fire: Strong Chevrolet Spark Sales Prompt More Imports
GM is increasing imports of the 2013 Chevrolet Spark because of higher-than-expected demand, Automotive News reports. Since July, when the city car went on sale in 18 major U.S. markets, Chevrolet dealers have sold 6313 Sparks, which is more than GM expected.
Cristi Landy, marketing director for Chevrolet small cars, told Automotive News that the U.S. branch has already asked for more units and has been pleased by the "strong reaction" the car has received.
GM is also working to make up lost production time after a series of partial strikes earlier this year by Korean laborers. In August, the automaker and Korean labor union were able to reach an agreement. The Korean plant which builds the Spark also supplies other world markets where the car has been on sale for a few years now.
GM recognizes that while initial demand for the city car has been high, the trend could change.
"Our dealers are asking for more," Landy said to Automotive News. "We don't want to make a gut production decision based on two-and-a-half months of sales. But demand has been strong."
In our 2013 Chevrolet Spark First Test, the car performed respectably.
"That 1.2-liter engine is still rather petite, but its 83 hp seemed sufficient as we guided the Spark through the ride and handing development loop. ... The steering is quick, precise, and provides better feedback than we've experienced in other small cars with electric steering and, just as important, doesn't get twitchy at higher speeds. Early yet subtle stability control intervention keeps the car pointed in the right direction through midcorner bumps. The throws of the five-speed manual gearbox are smooth if a bit too light (there's also a four-speed automatic). Our short drive did not include any time on the highway, without which it's impossible to issue any kind of conclusive verdict. Still, we'll allow that the Spark comported itself far better than we'd expected."