(Photo : Wikimedia Commons) Chevrolet Spark on display at a 2012 auto show in Washington.
General Motors has only released the Chevrolet Spark in 18 metropolitan markets so far, but due to a drastic increase in sales and demand for the vehicle, it will now be released nationwide by 2013.
GM sold 4,090 Sparks in July and August, when its total surpassed those of its two chief competitors, the Scion iQ and Smart ForTwo. While the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper are comparable in size, GM doesn't think of them as direct competitors because their sticker prices are much greater than the Spark's base price of $12,995. The 18 metropolitan markets, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, have been selling the Spark at an alarming rate, causing dealerships to completely sell out as soon as new stock comes in.
"The minicar segment in the U.S. is hard to forecast, so we've been conservative in how many we bring out," says Cristi Landy, marketing director for Chevrolet small cars in a statement on the company's site. "Dealers are already asking for more. So far, it's been a good problem to have."
The Spark is attractive to interested buyers thanks to the content and features not found on its rivals, such as four doors and more rear-seat space. The 1LT trim level, which costs $14,495, features Chevy's new MyLink infotainment system with Bluetooth and navigation via a $50 smartphone app that displays maps on the 7-inch touch screen.
IHS Automotive predicts that Chevy will sell 27,000 units of the Spark in 2013, the car's first full year on the U.S. market. Based on its sales from the limited rollout so far, GM is currently on track to surpass that total. Dealers attribute the demand for the car due largely in part to its appeal to budget-minded buyers amid near-record prices for used cars.
Buyers have been a mix of college kids, moms, and seniors some of whom were not GM customers before. Approximately 54 percent of buyers were not customers before buying the Spark, which is the highest number of new customers for any Chevy car currently. Many of them were persuaded to purchase the new car thanks to the 100,000-mile powertrain warranty for under $13,000.
Read more at 2013 Chevrolet Spark Sales Are Off The Charts : Auto News : Auto World News