Chevrolet News: Spark attracts newer, younger buyers

2013-chevrolet-spark-road-testYoung buyers might be drooling for Mustangs and Camaros while smaller cars from American carmakers are often considered second best to imported brands. Amid all the statistics, the Chevrolet Spark defies the trends. The minicar from Chevy is able to get a good chunk of buyers from its rivals.

Looking into buyer profiles, around 30% of Spark buyers are below 35 years old. While the parents of this generation were not fond of American minis, the Generation Y thinks otherwise.

The survey conducted by Chevrolet also shows that almost 54% of the sales of Spark are conquest sales. This just means that the consumers defected or opted for Chevrolet instead of another brand they used to patronize. About 20% of Spark buyers also used go for imported brands.

Women make up about half of the buyers of the Chevrolet Spark while about 25% of the buyers go for the exciting Salsa Red finish.

The small car naturally comes with a small gas tank but it is able to live up to its promises of 34mpg on a combined city and highway driving. The younger buyers might be looking into this fuel efficiency of the Spark as a convincing factor amid rising costs of fuel and car maintenance.

Aside from its fuel efficiency, the tag price is another important purchasing factor. Since its release, the Chevy Spark has been doing well and this trend will most likely go on.

More than 12,000 units have been delivered to U.S. households since summer of 2012. This number should jump up some more as the availability of the Chevy Spark spreads across the 50 states.

Review: 2013 Chevrolet Cruze

2013-chevrolet-cruzeThe 2013 Cruze by Chevrolet may deliver what is Saturn division failed to do before: an American small car to rival Japanese vehicles in terms of value and quality. Today, experts say the 2013 Cruze is the top pic for a compact sedan because of its infotainment system and its safety improvements.

The exterior of the vehicle is quite conservative. Some will be more harsh and say it is boring. The designers did not go for aggressive lines to lure in potential buyers but for an appearance that is safe and quite lasting.

The interior of the vehicle is quite a treat. The consumers will not be disappointed since the 2013 Cruze offers the best cabin in its segment. It has an up-market appeal, roomy, and comfortable. The car can accommodate five but four occupants will be more reasonable.

Consumers can pick between several engines. You can go for a 4-cylinder 1.8L that achieves 29 mpg combined when mated with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Link this engine to an automatic 6-speed transmission and the fuel economy will go down a bit to 27 mpg.

There is also the 1.4L turbocharged engine which is more refined than the base powerplants. The Eco trim is equipped with a 1.4L turbo engine that has a mileage of 33 mpg when coupled with a six-speed manual while it goes 31 mpg when power is transferred to the wheels by the 6-speed automatic gearbox. The non-Eco trim sporting a 1.4L engine returns 30 miles a gallon combined.

The NHTSA and the IIHS has awarded previous editions of the Chevy Cruze with excellent safety ratings. It is safe to assume that the new version of the Cruze will also excel in terms of safety features. The new Cruze can be upgraded with parking assist, detection system for blind spots, rear view cam, and rear cross-path alert.

The upper trims of this ride features an improved MyLink system that blends the convenience of a touchscreen and voice command functionality. Drivers can pair the infotainment system with their smartphones to stream media files.

SEMA 2012: Chevrolet to showcase small cars and performance parts

Chevrolet will put on exhibit 39 vehicles during the upcoming SEMA car show in Sin City this month. The carmaker will highlight their small cars, the sales of which are up by 97% since last year.

The spotlight will be on the Z-Spec line of parts that will go on production by 2013. These parts can be installed by car owners or by the dealer as part of a package.

The Sonic Z-Spec 1 is a concept that boasts of Bolar exhaust, performance brakes, lowering kit, and 18 inch rims. It comes in a Synergy Green finish and also has a sub-woofer kit to deliver great sounds from its premium stereo.

There is also the Z-Spec 2.5 that has a pearl white finish. It has sporty elements like upgraded brakes, Borla exhaust, cold air intake, grille accents, fog lamps, door trims, among others.

Chevrolet will also feature the Spart Sinister. This is another concept vehicle that blends aggressive body styling and hints of rally racing design. The black car features funky graphic accents and a big winging on the rear.

There are also charity inspired vehicles such as the Spark Color Run that was named after the five-kilometer race supported by Chevrolet. Another vehicle inspired by the brand’s charity campaigns is the Pink Out Spark. This vehicle gets a techno pink finish with accents of pink ribbons to support cancer awareness.

Aside from tuning their small cars, Chevrolet is also injecting some luxury into some models like the Cruze Upscale. The Upscale will sport a paint called Burnished Brandy Metallic, a deep purple finish with hints of brown and gray. This spruced up Cruze sports 19inch rims, leather seats, upgraded brakes, coil-over kit, and a host of custom body elements.

Tests of Consumer Reports reveals Kia Rio ahead of Chevrolet Sonic and Hyundai Accent

The Kia Rio EX passed well ahead of Chevrolet Sonic and the Hyundai Accent in the sub-compact sedan segment tests of the Consumer Reports. The hatchback version of the Kia Rio scored lower but is on third place in its segment following the Honda Fit and the Nissan Versa SL for the sub-compact hatchbacks.

The subcompacts have been known before as the penalty box cars because of the noise levels, basic interiors, weak performance, and uncomfortable rides but today’s picture is different. Subcompacts have evolved with better designs, boast of affordability, and have great fuel economy. Subcompacts nowadays are a great option for consumers who want to stretch their budgets.

Consumers Reports saw the new version of the Chevrolet Sonic is quite a refined vehicle that has agile handling, good braking and a quiet cabin. The test group though found out that the fuel mileage of this car is a bit mediocre for the sub-compact sedan segment The Consumers Report also subjected a Sonic LTZ which is a hatchback with manual transmission linked to a turbo engine but the sticker price was high at $20,000.

The Accent GLS and its SE hatchback version by Korean carmaker Hyundai are sensible options for people looking to have a car with all the basics and good values. The fuel economy of the two vehicles from Hyundai is also excellent.

The best grades for the sub-compact category was given by Consumer Reports to the Kia Rio which is a well equipped and solid car. The controls are very simple, it has good handling, and there are a good number of features for its tag price. The Rio sedan came on top while the hatchback version ranked in the middle of the field. The sedan Rio EX has a tag price of $17,275 and is dependent on a 4-cylinder, 1.6L engine which gives out 138 horsepower. The sedan has a fuel mileage of 30 mpg. The EX hatchback has a sticker price of $17,745 with automatic transmission. The noise has not entirely been eliminated but is said to be tolerable. Braking is excellent plus the sedan has a good space for cargo.

Consumer Reports is among the most respected organizations when it comes to product-testing. It was established back in 1936.

Kia announces price for new Rio Sedan, starts at $14,150

2012-Kia-Rio-SedanAround a monnth ago, Korean car manufacturer Kia announced the pricing for the hatchback 2012 Rio. This week, Kia reveals the tag price for the 2012 model of the Rio Sedan. The 2012 io sedan has a sticker price of $13,400 plus shipping and handling and you might end up paying around $14,150 for the entry level model with manual transmission. The four door sedan is about $200 cheaper than the 5-door Rio hatchback.

In case you do not want to drive a car with manual gear box, you can go for an automatic version of the sedan which starts at $15,250 for the base Rio.

The sedan variant of the 2012 Rio comes in three trims– the SX, EX, and LX. All versions are running with a four cylinder 138 horsepower 1.6L gasoline engine with direct injection. The powerplant can be coupled with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The estimated fuel rating of the Rio Sedan is at 30 miles per gallon when drivin on city streets while it gets a bit better at 30 mpg on highway traffic. Next year, Kia plans to intoduce a start stop system that they call the ISG or Idle Stop & Go technology that will further improve the fuel economy numbers.

Across the Rio models, the follwing equipment come as standard: air conditioning; power steering; satellite radio by SinusXM with 3 months of free service; audio system with MP3 and USB provisions; ESC or Electronic Stability Control; HAC or Hill Start Assist; VSM or Vehicle Stability Management; and ABS.

The top of the line Rio Sedan SX can be yours for $18,250 which adds some aesthetic elements like metal pedals, LED accent lights in front, LED tail lights, steering wheel and shift knob wrapped in leather, folding side mirrors, vanity mirrors, voice activated entertainment and information system, and rear camera.

The new Ford Focus studio priced at £13,995

The American car company, Ford Motor Company, has finally released its official word regarding the rumors surrounding the new Focus model. Finally, according to official reports, Ford Motor Company will be unveiling a junior level version of the famed Focus model. This entry-level version called the Ford Focus Studio will have the initial tag price of £13,995 and will replace the former-generation model, the Focus Sport that is now sold out.

The £13,995 entry-level Ford Focus Studio will become available to consumers who go after the “61-Plate” consumers. Moreover, the new model is scheduled to launch this coming September.

So far, Ford Motor Company has only confirmed the speculations about it production and several spec details such as the 16-inch sporty-looking allow wheels, the USB-enabled CD/radio player, the electric mirrors and rear spoilers that will come in the same body color, and electrical windows. There’s also the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) feature and the Ford Easy Fuel ‘capless’ refueling method.

Under the hood of the £13,995 entry-level Ford Focus Studio is a 1.6-liter Ti-VCT petrol engine unit with 84 bhp and 47.9mpg fuel efficiency. According to the managing director Nigel Sharp, the new Ford model is not only well equipped but also affordable and economical. The £13,995 Ford Focus Studio will come in a five-door hatchback model with three attractive, sporty, and cool body colors to choose from: Frozen White, Panther Black and Moondust Silver. According to reports, the brand new Focus Studio range will be priced from £13,995 to £24,000.

Renault Twingo gets a facelift, due for Frankfurt Motor Show in September

French car manufacturer Renault has unveiled the newly refreshed Renault Twingo which also gives you a hint of a new paradigm of design for the car brand. The compact Twingo is expected to have its official unveiling at the upcoming motor show in Frankfurt in September this year. The carmaker implements midcycle improvements before a total redesign for 2013.

The facelift gives the Renault Twingo gives the compact car a more open and rounder grill compared to the last release. It also gets an enlarged badge of Renault. The information about the Twingo is very limited. We are pretty sure we will get more details as to its pricing and the engine that it will be using prior to the release of this city car.

The Renault Twingo is being produced in Slovenia and is marketed across Europe. According to some reports, the Twingo might be replaced by another compact vehicle that will have a rear wheel drive configuration in two years time. The said new Renault compact will share a platform with Daimler Smart passenger vehicle that can carry four individuals.

The man responsible for the redesign is Lauren van den Acker who is design chief of Renault. He has been spearheading the evolution of the Renault car design since taking the post last year. The newly designed vehicles by van den Acker though will only roll out the market starting 2012.

The Renault Twingo will hit the market later this year.

GM thinking of producing 2-door Chevrolet Cruze

There were reports about the plan of General Motors that they will be rolling out a two-door version of the Chevrolet Cruze. No one from the company has denied this and no one has confirmed it either.

According to some media reports, the company is preparing their plant in Orion Township, a suburb in the area of Detroit, for the production of the Chevrolet Sonic and the Buick Verano later this year. The top executives of the company did not answer questions about the possible production of the 2-door Cruze.

The insiders clarified that the company is focusing on the production and launching of the Chevrolet Sonic. The company opted to produce the compact vehicle Sonic in Detroit instead of using their factory in South Korea. The setup in Detroit will have the new workers under a 2-tier earning structure.

GM has been building the 4-door Chevrolet Cruze exclusively at their Lordstown plant in Ohio but the successful campaign of the Cruze has the factory up against its production capacity even when the employees work over time.

The Chevrolet Cruze made a mark last May as it became the most sought after compact in the United States. This was the result of the industry survey but you need to factor out the shortage of the Japanese competition like the new Civic by Honda.

The Oriion plant is said to have been upgraded so it can help in the production of multiple models and the GM is still giving strong hints that they might indeed introduce a 2-door Cruze to further improve the image of the Chevrolet Cruze.

VW Might Build the 2013 Golf at Tennessee, USA

There is a whole lot of rumor going around in the automotive industry with the speculation that the 2013 Volkswagen Golf hatchback might go into production in the new VW Chattanooga plant in Tenessee, USA. According to an inside scoop, the carmaker is still mulling over the decision whether this new-generation VW Golf hatchback will be in production in U.S. along with the Passat, a model that was designed for Middle East, Mexico, South Korea, and Canada.

The inside scoop also indicates that the Chattanooga-VW Golf decision is part of the German carmaker’s plan to trade almost 800,000 models to U.S. by year 2018. The current VW Golf hatchback carries a hefty tag price of almost $17,965. Moving the production to U.S. might just be a rational move after all as critics speculate that its sale would be does well in U.S. soil.

The all new Volkswagen Golf hatchback is planned to launch by early 2013 with MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten or Modular Transverse Matrix ) Architecture similar to the revamped Audi A3 model. This new technology allows the carmaker to employ a wide range of front-wheel, front-engine models. In line with this, the rumors also speculate that the A3 and Q5 models would be produced in the same Tennessee plant.

As far as press releases are concerned, the carmaker says that it’s not impossible that the entire VW compact line, which includes the Scirocco, Jetta, Tiguan, and Golf models, might be built in the same plant where the Passat is.

Chevrolet looking at the Aveo to boost subcompact market performance

You may be wondering if the Aveo brand going to be dropped by Chevrolet.  Not really since the carmaker faces a big issued with regards to their global branding strategy. According to a report recently, the reworked compact vehicle might get a new name as it hits the U.S. market by next year. The car has been at their dealerships since 2003 but the market is just having a hard time pronouncing the name, thus it will be changed.

Although the carmaker did not exactly point it out, but maybe majority of the American consumers have not even heard of Aveo. The sales figures are really bad and advertising back up is not really there. Also, the Aveo does not hold much of an appeal when placed side by side with its competitors.

According to insiders, the upcoming Aveo will create a different story. It will not be marketed as an economy car but will get the standard features like heated side mirrors and air conditioning. It is also expected to have a handling and feel similar to the small cars of Volkswagen.

Chevrolet will also offer the car with a sedan variant and a 5-door hatchback which will be both manufactured in Michigan and other Chevy factories in different corners of the globe.

Overall, Chevrolet wants to tell us the new subcompact will be a different car compared to its older sibling. And this will require a name change. There is a big but to this story though since Chevrolet has a global branding strategy tagged as “One Chevy” and using a different name for the North American market will hurt this direction.

While Cruze is also being sold as Cruze in other parts of the world, and Spark sold as Spark, is there really a dilemma to have the Aveo pushed as the Aveo when it goes on sale in different continents starting next year?