GM’s Spark is an Eye-Catcher

Mod­ern Gen­er­al Motors has nev­er suc­cess­ful­ly sold such a tiny car in the U.S. as the Chevro­let Spark, but sur­pris­ing­ly this lit­tle sub­com­pact entry is catch­ing con­sumer inter­est.

Find out what this lit­tle car with lots of piz­zazz has to offer.

Mod­ern GM has nev­er suc­cess­ful­ly sold such a tiny car in the U.S. The Spark’s suc­cess today, 26,869 U.S. deliv­er­ies in its first 12 months, exceeds GM’s ini­tial expec­ta­tions by as much as 35 per­cent, said one per­son famil­iar with the company’s inter­nal plan­ning.

The Spark ranked No. 2 for qual­i­ty in its seg­ment in J.D. Pow­er & Asso­ciates’ Ini­tial Qual­i­ty Study, an impor­tant indus­try bench­mark.

Unlike past attempts with the larg­er Chevy Aveo, the Spark is being sold with good audio sys­tems and oth­er fea­tures not typ­i­cal for low-entry-lev­el cars, said Lar­ry Dominique, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of San­ta Mon­i­ca, Cal­i­for­nia-based auto researcher True­Car Inc.

“When you start mak­ing it not just a cheap box and start adding some piz­zazz and fea­tures to it that peo­ple want, the appeal grows,” he said. “And I think GM has done a good job with that.”

GM could add those ele­ments because Spark is large­ly sold out­side of the U.S., giv­ing it the scale required to make a vehi­cle that wouldn’t do enough busi­ness oth­er­wise.

The com­pa­ny sold 275,228 Sparks last year around the world. While the car first went on sale in the U.S. in June of last year, it arrived in South Kore­an show­rooms in 2009. GM has sold more than 720,000 glob­al­ly, accord­ing to the com­pa­ny.

U.S. sales of the Spark through May this year totaled 14,484, a lit­tle more than 3,000 behind Chrysler’s Fiat 500 at 17,562 and about half as many as the larg­er Ford Fiesta’s 28,801. Toy­ota Motor Corp.’s Scion iQ sold 1,919 dur­ing the same peri­od.

GM is eager to hook young con­sumers and keep them as they buy more expen­sive vehi­cles as they get old­er.

GM esti­mates that every per­cent­age point of cus­tomer reten­tion improve­ment will gen­er­ate $700 mil­lion in addi­tion­al rev­enue.




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