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Flybrian

GMDAT Chief thinks US may get microcars

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Will Minicars come to the U.S.?
They might if the General gets its way
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Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek


Remember those cool little cars—Trax, Beat and Groove—General Motors showed at the New York show? Michael Grimaldi, president and CEO of GM’s South Korean-based Daewoo Automotive Technology subsidiary, thinks one of those cars, or at least a car like that, will be coming to the United States fairly soon.

Speaking to the Society of Automotive Analysts in Detroit, Grimaldi, a GM vice president, said, “GM doesn’t sell a minicar here in North America because there is no market. If there appears to have been a shift and if we can make those vehicles economically, we can then determine if we should introduce those vehicles here.”

The three concepts were built on Daewoo’s global, Korean-built, small-car chassis that underpins the Chevrolet Spark and the Daewoo Matiz. If GM does end up bringing a minicar to the States, it’s a good bet it will be built either on that chassis or a similar one.

“We are going to see significant changes, in obviously not just GM’s portfolio, but everyone’s products,” Grimaldi said. “It’s going to take a broad comprehensive strategy.”

Grimaldi went on to say that GM expects to invest more than $6.7 billion in Daewoo over the next four years, and that if a minicar is given the green light it could be out in as little as two years as a 2011 model.
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...and they can't come soon enough here. I am seeing the Versa, Fit and Yaris EVERYWHERE around here. The Aveo was doing very well, but it is getting long in the tooth. I would love to see something small and cool that the twentysomethings could latch onto.

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Again, the Versa is a cheap compact, not a subcompact like the Fit. :banghead:

The Beat Groove and Trax meanwhile are even smaller than the Yaris and Mini, smaller than anything sold in the US since until the smart fortwo and since the original mini.

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If they're not going to greenlight it until they're convinced that they'll do well here, will they even decide that by 2011? GM, make and sell one well-done model and test the waters yourselves - don't wait for someone else to do it and be successful. Take a risk (though please do it wisely, and not half-effort...)

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If they're not going to greenlight it until they're convinced that they'll do well here, will they even decide that by 2011? GM, make and sell one well-done model and test the waters yourselves - don't wait for someone else to do it and be successful. Take a risk (though please do it wisely, and not half-effort...)

+1 Well said. If GM wants to play in this segment, please go fullhearted. Half hearted effort will only make the import humping press say, "We said so!"

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...and they can't come soon enough here. I am seeing the Versa, Fit and Yaris EVERYWHERE around here. The Aveo was doing very well, but it is getting long in the tooth. I would love to see something small and cool that the twentysomethings could latch onto.

Not picking on you, but the Aveo was just remodeled in 2007 and will be remodeled again in 3 years. How is GM letting it get long in the tooth?

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Not picking on you, but the Aveo was just remodeled in 2007 and will be remodeled again in 3 years. How is GM letting it get long in the tooth?

Only the sedan was 'remodeled' in 2007. We sold more of the 5-doors here than the sedan, so it was disappointing to see the sedan done first. I understand the 5 door is being done for '08 but haven't seen it in the flesh yet. The powertrain, particularly the transmission needs upgrading. I have driven these vehicles extensively and although the power/performance is fine, the gas mileage is poor, considering its size.

When this vehicle arrived FOUR years ago, it was ahead of its class (shades of the Tracker in mid-1998), but GM cannot rest on its laurels. This is an important market (at least in urban centers in Canada, over in Asia and in Europe) and already the competition has caught up or even passed us. The Echo-Aveo was a non-starter four years ago; now the Yaris has a lot of nice things going for it and the Fit, too.

We cannot keep competing solely on price, is all I am saying. People have to WANT the product. From where I sit, people with means are buying the Hondas and Mazdas, and Chevrolet is competing with the Hyundai/Kia over the 'roaches.'

Considering the number of deals I have lost in the past couple weeks because of poor credit/no insurance or just outright scammy customers, I am not in a very conciliatory mood just now.

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