GM’s Spark is an Eye-Catcher

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Bloomberg News

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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