Chevrolet surprised by Spark's popularity


#1

Anybody driven one?


#2

Where I live, only very young people (early 20s) seem to be driving these cars.

Blue collar guys like me wouldn’t be allowed in the building if our colleagues saw us show up in one of these things.

But there do seem to be many of these cars around, so there is apparently a niche which needs to be filled.


#3

Whoever’s buying them, good to see GM finally figured out how to make a popular subcompact. Makes me think of the Chevette my sister had, and not fondly.


#4

I agree. I’m not sure about Chrysler, but Ford and GM seem to have gotten a few things right recently.


#5

Perhaps the large network of Chevrolet dealers may be a deciding factor for buyers looking for an economy car.


#6

I remember well the recession of the late 1950s. The cars that made big gains in sales were the Rambler and the Studebaker Lark. Both of these makes were compacts. In 1960, Ford, Chrysler, and GM introduced compacts–the Falcon, the Corvair, and the Valiant. The most successful was Ford’s Falcon. The Ford Falcon was the least sophisticated of the U.S. compacts available at the time. It had the smallest standard engine of 144 cubic inches. It had a hand choke. The floor of the trunk was the top of the gas tank. The automatic transmission was a 2 speed unit. Yet, the sales of the Falcon exceeded the other compacts. I think much of this was due to the strong Ford dealer network.
Since we are coming out of a recession period now, I can see where having a large Chevrolet dealer network would help sales of the Spark. While we were in the recession, many people didn’t have the money to buy a new car. As the recession eases, buyers need a car but are not buying more car than they need. The same was true back in 1960.


#7

Well said @triedaq

Not everyone has money to buy a 40k pickup truck that the automakers want to sell them.


#8

Actually, the Spark sounds like a really good little car. I just read a review from a guy who’s 5 ft 11, 260 lbs, says there’s plenty of room, and he gets 50 mpg hwy. He loves it.


#9

@db4690

I got crap when I drove the prius to work. I told my coworkers when they start paying my bills and fuel they can tell me what to drive. I also told one of them not to talk, because he drives a 35k gas hog, puts all his gas on credit cards that he cant pay off at the end of the month and is drowning in debt. ( the only reason I know this is because he tells everyone) OTOH they make fun of the caprice as well.

I did see a few sparks in our redneck of the woods. Just yesterday I seen one that was a purple color driven by a guy in his 60s or 70s. I have to admit I did snicker a bit at the purple.

But the spark is a practical affordable car, gets great mileage, has the electronic gadgets that people want these days, if its reliable, I think chevy hit a home run.


#10

Yeah, the Car and Driver review said the purple color was pretty hideous…


#11

We live in a suburb and up to 2-3 years ago had a lot of trucks and SUV’s around. It was rare that I could see where my Camry was parked in a lot because of the size of anything next to it. Now, the number of smaller cars have gone up. The Prius is being driven by almost anybody. Yesterday when I went shopping, there was a long row of parked cars, all smaller than my Camry. There were 2 Sonics, 2 small Scions, 3 Mazda 2’s and so on.
I think times are changing.


#12

@WheresRick

I personally wouldn’t drive a Prius

But you’re making a smart decision

You can smile when you drive past a gas station and see one of your colleagues filling up


#13

@db4690

I still have the truck but it sits most of the time now. I got a hitch for the prius and I have a small 4x8 utility trailer that I use to tow a riding mower. It tows it just fine. We are talking maybe 700 lbs. I never put the mower in the back of the truck anyway since it was such a Pita. I usually just trailered it.


#14

I fear for the next generation. We’ll be just like France or Italy.


#15

@WheresRick

I don’t think a hybrid is a very good choice for towing anything


#16

Lots of people live in cities or crowded suburbs, and a small car makes sense. If you ask young people where their ideal place to live is, many will tell you center cities, where they can walk to places, get to transit, and don’t need to drive a lot. And @Bing, France and Italy have lots and lots of residential old cities. You couldn’t drive a Chevy pickup into most of those places at all, and certainly couldn’t park it. Here we have open spaces, but our cities are crowded, 320 million people in America now, third biggest population in the world. Only China and India have more people. People are moving back into the center of old cities, and they want small cars. If there’s a demand, capitalism provides a supply.


#17

I live in a relatively small town that would be considered by most a rural area and apparently a significant number of people in the area are opting for Spark class vehicles. My home is at the dead end of a 1/2 mile long residential street and there are 3 Yarises, 2 Nissan Versas and several of the GM copies of that style. I have long wondered why anyone would want a $50,000, 2 ton battle tank to drive 5 miles to work and 3 miles to the supermarket and more and more people are coming to the same conclusion.


#18

My daughter drove both the Spark and Cruze. She bought the Cruze, and said she didn’t like the Spark. But the Spark is the least expensive new car available. That garners a lot of sales whether the car drives like a Boxter or not.


#19

I wonder if people will still love the Spark, Versa, Yaris, etc. when they are 10 years old, need repairs and aren’t worth much anymore.


#20

@db4690, given their low purchase prices they’re not worth that much new either. :wink:

But that’s part of the attraction, obviously. If I bought one and got 10 years of 35-50 mpg with reasonable reliability, I’d be pretty happy. And I’ll venture to guess those owners will be much happier than the previous generations of Pinto, Gremlin, Chevette, Fiesta, Vega and Yugo owners.