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Auto Trend – Small Cars, Big Buzz

Purchasers lead the auto industry to an exciting trend consisting of small, chic and fuel-efficient cars. Sales reports lay the fact on the table – small cars create a really big buzz!
Automakers in the industry are now aware of the obvious: the market is swiftly shifting to small fuel-efficient cars. This is why they strive hard to produce cars that tease the fantasies of aficionados.
Earlier, the General Motors Corp. stimulated some publicity with a website asking netizens to vote on which of three super-small vehicle concepts the automaker should build. The auto giant was ‘blown away’ over positive global response to the concepts. To note, approximately 870,000 votes cast for one of the plucky rides.
The poll conducted is remote from scientific, as the automaker has no way to stop people from weighing in multiple times. Nonetheless, the upsurge of interest has the automaker thinking more seriously about bringing minicars to the United States. “We were pretty blown away,” GM spokesman Michael Albano said. “It has certainly opened our eyes to that segment here.”
The three minicar concepts include the Chevrolet Groove, Trax and the Beat. The upbeat concepts are part of the automaker’s global approach to design and manufacturing. They were designed in Inchon, South Korea, and assembled in the United States and India. GM also builds minicars in other markets. But the automaker has not settled on whether there is compelling enough demand to deliver the minicars to the United States.
Analysts said the potential is growing as fuel price increase and consumers are shifting toward small, fuel-efficient cars. According to statistics, minicars account for about five percent of worldwide market, with some estimates suggesting that they could account for 15 percent within a decade.
GM’s mini concepts were unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in April. The Beat is a three-door hatchback that would offer front-wheel-drive high performance. The Trax is a flat-faced micro-SUV, featuring a single molded plastic front end to help reduce weight, tighten its design and advance the vehicle’s gas mileage. The Groove, dubbed as the “Funkastalgia,” is a five-door model with a lengthened profile and flared fenders created to offer longer, tougher look.
As of Friday, the Chevrolet Groove was leading the vote with 54 percent to the Beat’s 37 percent and Trax’s nine percent. The online voting, which includes input from around the globe, won’t single-handedly drive GM’s decision to build here. The automaker still plans to conduct more traditional market research and would have to consider the logistics and costs of producing such a car and selling it in the U.S.
So far, GM has said that it is not likely to bring one of the three vehicles to the United States anytime soon, and none of the three is built to meet U.S. safety standards. After the New York debut, Bob Lutz, GM’s product czar, said only a dramatic prolonged increase in fuel prices or an “unforeseen” change in demand for American small cars would justify selling them in the U.S.
But the cyberballots will be greatly considered into decision making at the automaker, GM said. “We’re going to get continuous feedback and see what the right portfolio is moving forward,” said Courtney Moody, a marketing executive with Chevrolet. “Even if the Groove doesn’t come to market, some of what we learn when we put a concept out there, we can use on other vehicles.”
The automaker would be wise to get a foothold in the segment in the United States, since consumer demand is trending toward smaller vehicles, said Erich Merkle, a senior auto analyst with consultant IRN Inc. in Grand Rapids. “The generation known as the echo boom, whose parents belong to the baby boom generation, are hitting the age where they’re driving their first vehicles and are going to want attractive, affordable options,” Merkle noted. “They will, just like their parents, be looking for affordable, economical transportation,” he noted. “They’re going to want these types of cars.”
Customer feedback is essential to the success of the vehicle. This is why automakers are ensuring quality of their product lines. The Nissan control arm, Ford engines, Toyota technology and other auto parts accessories have undergone meticulous testing to deliver superb quality.


  1. Agustin says:

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    • Leticia says:

      As someone who woekrs with Li Ion batteries let me tell you they do go BOOM! even a single cell has a safety circuit to prevent over or under charging for this reason. I would not want to be near a Volt if the battery pack got shorted out (you know like in an accident?). Things would get real interesting real fast. Spontanious Dissassembly sucks if you are in the blast radious. . . .Still it sounds like a small boom, probably a cell or two, not a full battery. Would love to know the details on this one. They will cover as much as possible to hide the inconvenient truths about the car.

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