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Chev aims Spark at US youth

2012-07-25 14:59

SPARK HOPES TO IMPRESS YOUTH: Chevrolet aims its Spark city car at young car buyers in the US where it is hoped its infotainment system and low price will win over the traditional big-vehicle lovers.

Chevrolet's latest Spark is slowly arriving in GM showrooms in some US cities, reported Detroit News, where the automaker aims to win young drivers and city dwellers with the minicar's cute styling and a lower-than-average starting price.

FIRST SPARK BOUGHT

According to Detroit News, Romaine DeVaul, 30, of Fort Lauderdale is believed to have purchased the first Spark in the US.

The car is breaking through barriers as big-vehicle lovers, common in the US, are trading in their old cars for a smaller ones like the Spark.

DeVaul traded his decade-old V8 Cadillac SLS for keys to a 1-litre Spark. "My other car was a V8 gas guzzler so I wanted something more fuel efficient," he told Detroit News.

He had reportedly said he wanted the four-cylinder Spark for several months.

Raving about the infotainment system, DeVaul said: "It's got exactly what I needed, what I wanted. And for the affordability that the Spark offers, there is really nothing that comes near in quality and coolness."

REACHING THE YOUTH

For more than a year, GM and its largest brand have been working with MTV Scratch, a Viacom consulting company, on creative ways to reach millennial consumers.

The digital push follows the successful launch of the Chevy Sonic, where videos of the car going over a cliff and bungee jumping went viral.

"We really wanted to leverage that," said Cristi Landy, director of small-car marketing at Chevrolet. "We know that millennials are online."

The Spark launch campaign will include videos of the car from around the world. The car is already sold globally and was launched in South Africa in 2010.

The Spark will reportedly be featured in a promotion involving new music and emerging artists, and the company will use Facebook, MTV sites and social platforms to bring people to the promotion.

Landy believes the vehicle will resonate with buyers, given its technology and the lowest sticker price in the market segment.

IS BIGGER BETTER?

"It's very difficult to predict, but we are very confident this Spark will be very popular," Landy said.

Analysts, however, aren't expecting the Spark to light up sales for Chevrolet.

Dave Sullivan, manager of product analysis for automotive research firm AutoPacific told Detroit News some customers who look at a Spark may end up buying a bigger Sonic for just a few thousand more.

"Microcars have still not gained broad consumer acceptance in the US, however interest is certainly picking up," said Alec Gutierrez, senior market analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

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