By Lloyd Frazier
If you recall, the Chevy Triplets were a trio of sub-compact concepts that were introduced by GM at the 2007 New York Auto Show last April. They created quite a buzz. GM thought it would be cute to conduct an election to see which Triplet held the highest interest with the public. Recently, at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevrolet General Manager, 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. You can still place a vote for your favorite Triplet at www.vote4chevrolet.com.
According to the press release, “the production model will carry the spirit of the expressive Beat concept, offering compact, city-friendly dimensions and a small-displacement engine that delivers excellent fuel economy. It adds further depth and breadth to Chevrolet’s global lineup, which is sold in more than 120 countries, giving the brand a strong position in the city car segment – a sector that is growing across the globe, in numerous different markets.” The Beat was designed by the Daewoo GM Design studio in Bupyeong, South Korea. The car will not be initially targeted for North America. The rest of the world will get to test out the new little A-class segment in mid-2009.
Now why would Lutz and company go to all the trouble of announcing this little compact in our own backyard at the LA Auto Show? Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to announce it in Frankfurt or Tokyo. We may never get to see this car which has been purported to get mileage in the 40’s. One reason might be that it would be a direct competitor to the new 2009 Chevy Aveo 5 that is being released on us next fall. Having too many offerings in one segment wouldn’t make much sense. The 2007 Aveo has turned up heat on the competition. Not quite a Corolla or Civic killer just yet. The 2009 model is supposed to be “All That.” We shall see.
As for the Triplet competition, I threw my hat in for the Chevy Trax. It had much more appeal to me because of the mini-SUV aspect of it. From first glance, you can see that it would have a wider appeal due to its possible multi-function aspect. With four doors, it looks like a small family hauler for parents and a couple of kids, or throw some stuff in the back and go to the mountains for the day. But, that is just me. And it is just different enough from the Aveo that it would fill its own niche. Plus, it just looks more rugged with its brawny front clip, bulging wheel wells and longer roofline. Actually it is a bit similar to the Dodge Caliber, only smaller. The Caliber has been a good seller for Dodge. The Chevy Groove looks too similar to other little sub-compacts on the market or slated to be released soon. It will be interesting to see how popular it will actually be in the rest of the world. That is a crowded market in Europe.
Lloyd, signing out…