GM rules out launching minicar in U.S.

New Beat will miss out on a U.S. launch because of poor demand and stringent crash-safety tests

New Beat will miss out on a U.S. launch because of poor demand and stringent crash-safety tests

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General Motors confirmed at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show that its Chevrolet Beat concept car would enter production in South Korea and eventually be sold in Asian and South American markets. While previously there was talk that a production version of the Beat could eventually be sold in the North American market, GM has ruled out such a possibility for now, citing a lack of demand and stringent crash-safety regulations as the main determining factors.

GM's Chief Operating Officer, Fritz Henderson, has revealed during an interview with Automotive News that introducing the Chevrolet Beat into the North American market is a move that will likely be unsuccessful.

Although the Mercedes Smart car has attained "good receptivity as a bit of a phenomenon," American small-car buyers are more likely to stick with compact cars the size of the Chevrolet Cobalt or subcompacts such as the Chevy Aveo, he explained.

While GM doesn't see a bright future for minicars in its home market, North American buyers are embracing the Smart car in droves. Smart's U.S. distributor has had to upgrade its sales forecast for 2008 by almost 50% in light of skyrocketing demand, and there are reports that Toyota may bring its recently launched iQ minicar Stateside as a Scion.
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Comments (8)
  1. looks like GM picked their nose and this is what came out

  2. clearly you haven't seen the aveo... this thing is dynamite.. next to the fiesta, (and relative mazda2) i dont think theres a small car in the pipelines that is quite that sexy

  3. GM shouldn't "consider" the Beat. They should do it. It's a 40mpg car in a $4 a gallon world no brainer.

  4. BEAT? Am I the only one who sees the irony in that name? It perfectly describes the state of GM right now.

  5. The Beat is OK, but I voted for the Trax. Bring 'em both!

  6. So true, GM should just go ahead with this. Not only because of petrol price, this car would be ideal for the narrow streets and limited parking spots at Europe and Japan too.

  7. GM, wake up! what are you waiting for the next Vega? Even though the Aveo is an Ital Designed car, nice, its a box, without character. The Mini sells because its a beautifully done small car with tons of character. The Fiat 500 is a beauty because of its character. The Versa, Sentra, Aveo and many other small cars are dull econo-boxes. Do the Beat and the Groove.


    Ed Peper, announced the winner. He said "The people have spoken. The vote count tripled all previous GM online consumer surveys, telling us Beat resonated with customers all around the world. Chevrolet was overwhelmed by the positive reaction to each of the three mini concept cars, but Beat was a sound winner.” After 1.9 million online votes, the three-door Chevy Beat won. Apparently, the Beat won by a good margin with the Groove being a distant 2nd place.
    "The people have spoken, 1.9M votes. Even if you got 10% in sales, ahh... whats the problem? Good grief!

  8. Once again we see proof that the short-sightedness and ignorace of the american executive knows no bounds! with wages shrinking, and job losses increasing the sub-$20K market will be the ONLY market with significant activity in the U.S. for the next 5 to 10 YEARS! The american car manufactures deserve to go under due to sheer incompetence!

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