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Chevy Selling Small Cars with Big Technology

New website aims to draw first-time buyers.

by on May.10, 2016

The 2017 Chevrolet Trax is enjoying a stellar sales year posting a 39% increase through April.

The prevailing thought is that young car buyers are interested in primarily in new vehicles laden with technology of convenience: Bluetooth-enabled connections that allow drivers to respond to emails, get directions at the push of a button and listen to the song they can’t get out of their heads.

Chevrolet is betting that same group will be willing to use “technology of convenience” not only when they’re behind the wheel, but also in order to get behind the wheel: as in buying the car.

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The brand created, an online tool to help younger consumers find and consider smaller, less expensive models like the Sonic, Spark and Trax. (more…)

GM Promising 8 Models Will Top 40 MPG

Detroit maker also targets big cut in CO2 emissions.

by on Jul.11, 2013

General Motors reaffirmed its commitment to reducing the energy it uses and to improving the gas mileage of its vehicles.

General Motors has promised at least eight of its U.S. vehicles will get 40 miles per gallon or better by 2017, while also pledging to reduce the CO2 emissions of its fleet 15% by 2015.

The mileage target, listed in GM’s latest sustainability report, would double the current number of products achieving at least 40 mpg, and reflect an expanding use of battery-based technologies, like those in the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, as well as advances in more conventional internal combustion technologies.

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Chevy Moving Up-Market with Sonic Dusk

Can a little car command a big price tag?

by on Oct.25, 2012

Chevrolet will soon put the Sonic Dusk into production - but will buyers pay the premium?

With the exception of a few exotic sports cars, Americans typically measure the worth of an automobile by the inch and pound. But Chevrolet is hoping to get U.S. buyers to rethink that attitude with the new Chevy Sonic Dusk.

The concept vehicle, set for a formal debut at the upcoming SEMA aftermarket show in Las Vegas, is “designed to bring a higher degree of sophistication and refinement to the subcompact segment,” the maker explains.

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The maker promises the Dusk model will soon reappear in production form.  Chevrolet isn’t the only maker to try moving small cars up-market.  Mini has done a good job at de-coupling the link between size and price and Fiat had a modest success when it issued the recent Gucci edition of its little 500 hatchback.


GM Takes Aim at VW, Hyundai With New Opel Onix

5-door critical to Brazilian market effort.

by on Oct.22, 2012

The Opel Onix debuts at the Sao Paulo auto show.

While the spotlight may be focused on China, these days, automakers like General Motors know there’s another emerging market that is one of the industry’s prime battlegrounds.

And for General Motors, once the market leader in Brazil, increasing competition means some new products are desperately needed – like the Opel Onix making its debut at the Sao Paulo auto show.

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A close cousin to Chevrolet’s new Sonic subcompact, the 5-door Onix will target one of the fastest-growing segments in what is now the world’s third-largest national automotive market, after the U.S. and China.

“Onix is arriving at a unique moment for Chevrolet in Brazil, a country that is open for business and poised for growth,” said GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson during a preview of the new Opel Onix the night before the official opening of the annual auto show.


Chevrolet Makes Trax in Paris

US left on the sidelines.

by on Oct.01, 2012

Chevrolet is looking to the new Trax compact crossover to continue building momentum in Europe.

The most American of General Motors’ many worldwide brands, Chevrolet has been making rapid gains around the globe since GM emerged from bankruptcy – and nowhere is that more apparent than in Europe, where it is one of the very few makers to post both sales and market share gains for the first eight months of 2012.

Considering the near-collapse of the European market, that’s no mean feat – and one that will rely on new products to keep the momentum building.  New products like the Chevrolet Trax making its debut at this year’s Paris Motor Show.

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The Chevrolet Trax is a Korean-made compact crossover based on GM’s Gamma II platform – which is shared with several other models including the new Opel Mokka and the Buick Encore.  A modified version of the platform is also used for the new Chevy Sonic model that’s gotten off to a good start since its U.S. introduction for the 2012 model-year.


Chevy Says “Gogo” With Low-Cost App-Based Nav System

Spark and Sonic will be first to get smartphone-based navi.

by on Mar.29, 2012

Chevrolet's GogoLink is a new smartphone app-based nav system that GM says will provide full-featured navigation with traffic updates at less than the cost of traditional navigation.

The traditional – and expensive – in-car navigation system is about to move one step closer to extinction.

Chevrolet will introduce GogoLink, a navigation system that connects with the owner’s smartphone and displays maps and directions on a car’s touchscreens. It will first appear in the 2013 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic — but could eventually migrate to other models in the Chevrolet and broader General Motors line-up.

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The new system works through Chevrolet’s new MyLink infotainment system.  General Motors calls Gogolink an embedded smartphone app and claims it delivers “full-function navigation.” The automaker will formally reveal it next week at the New York Auto Show.


Kia Rio Wins Subcompact Sedan Shoot-Out

But Consumer Reports slams Toyota Yaris.

by on Mar.22, 2012

Strong praise for the Kia Rio from Consumer Reports.

Don’t call the new Kia Rio sedan a “penalty box.”  There was a time when that might have applied to subcompact sedans in general – and Korean-made products in particular – but a shoot-out among domestic and import small cars suggests the best of the subcompact segment deliver more than just a cheap price tag.

The Rio EX, in particular, made a strong impression on the folks at Consumer Reports, the non-profit publication rating the Korean subcompact best in an otherwise impressive class of sedans.  The Rio hatchback didn’t score quite as well, but still landed in the top three among a field that also includes the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.

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Notably, CR some harsh and unexpected pot shots at the Toyota entry into the growing – and increasingly competitive – subcompact segment , suggesting the Japanese giant’s Yaris hatchback  “continues to underwhelm.”  Once dominant in the small car market, Toyota has been losing ground of late, and many industry analysts believe its decline is only tangentially related to last year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

The challenge is keeping up with a segment that has improved dramatically in recent years.


Chevy Nearing All-Time Sales Record

Malibu underscores brand’s shift to a global focus.

by on Dec.20, 2011

Malibu is going global and could help Chevy hit another record in 2012.

With its 100th birthday barely fading in the rearview mirror, Chevrolet is on pace to set an all-time global sale record in 2011, having sold 4.8 million units through the end of November and with December off to a strong start.

Meanwhile, Chevrolet’s global market share has increased by nearly one half of a point this year, Russ Clark, Chevrolet’s marketing manager for midsized and performance cars, told, while suggesting General Motors’ largest marque is steadily advancing towards its goal of becoming a truly global brand.

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Sixty percent of all Chevrolets are now sold outside the United States, which had been the bowtie brand’s primary hunting ground for most of the past century, according to statistics cited by Clark during a conversation about Chevrolet’s business plans.


GM Gives Sneak Peek at Chevy Spark

Maker takes aim with Chevy’s smallest offering ever.

by on Nov.14, 2011

Chevrolet takes aim at the minicar segment with its new Spark hatchback.

For a company that long ignored the passenger car market – especially the econocar segment –Chevrolet is making a big push with an assortment of offerings that can be described as small, smaller and, with the upcoming launch of the Chevy Spark, smallest.

The new microcar is the tiniest ever to grace the line-up of General Motors’ largest brand.  But the automaker is intent on winning over buyers in a segment that it believes will be growing rapidly in the years ahead.

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The challenge will be to convince buyers that the 2013 Chevrolet Spark is more than just a basic econobox, and that it has the features and styling of better-known competitors like the Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent and Toyota Yaris, and even smaller city cars.

GM will officially unwrap the 2013 Chevy Spark at the L.A. Auto Show later this week.  It will roll into showrooms early next year to flesh out a line-up of small cars that already includes the unexpectedly popular Cruze compact and new Sonic subcompact.


First Drive: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic

Chevy finally gets in the game with American-made subcompact.

by on Oct.20, 2011

The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Z-Spec package will add graphics packages, wheels, ground effects and mirror caps to the stock Sonic hatchback.

When it comes to small cars, let’s face it, Detroit has had a history of rolling out some pretty forgettable products, nowhere more so than at Chevrolet, which has dumped on a trusting public such unremarkable and sometimes crude offerings as the Nova, Storm, Cavalier, Cobalt and Aveo.

Which is a good reason why General Motors’ largest division decided to abandon the latter nameplate when it came time to launch an all-new subcompact — one that finally gives reason to Buy American even if there’s more on your mind than a rock bottom price tag.

Yes, the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic does still sport a pleasantly affordable bottom line but the fact is it’s also a reasonably fun car to drive – and one that delivers a surprising amount of features and value for the money.

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Sonic is the new name chosen for the replacement for Chevy’s B-segment car.  And starting fresh makes sense.  Get rid of the old, dated design and uncompetitive engineering – and move production over to the U.S.  The outgoing Aveo was assembled in South Korea by what used to be known as Daewoo.  While the Koreans, now part of GM’s global product empire, played a critical role in engineering the 2012 Sonic, the new car is being assembled at a plant in suburban Detroit.

We got our chance to take the new Chevy subcompact out on the road during a blustery autumn day near Hell, Michigan – an ironic name for a place that provides some of the best roads in the state for testing out a car’s mettle.