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GM Introduces Three Minicar Concepts; Vote for Your Favorite

GM unveiled its three Chevrolet minicar concepts at the New York International Auto Show today. All three concepts were designed at GM’s Design Studio in Inchon, South Korea. One of GM’s 11 Global Design Studios, the designers in the Korean center are experts in small car product development.

The three concepts—the Chevrolet Beat, Groove and Trax—offer three different fuel-efficient engines, including a diesel.

Beat Groove Trax
2007 Chevrolet Beat concept. 2007 Chevrolet Groove concept. 2007 Chevrolet Trax concept.

The Beat is a front-wheel-drive, three-door hatchback concept built to be personalized, and powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine mated to an automatic transmission. The 4-door Groove, with a short hood and long cabin, is a front-wheel drive vehicle powered by a 1.0-liter diesel engine. The Trax crossover features a low-cost all-wheel-drive system powered by a 1.0-liter gasoline engine.

Chevrolet is asking interested consumers to visit www.vote4chevrolet.com and cast a vote for the Beat, Groove or Trax. The company says that the results will help it determine US market interest in the minicar segment, and which design/capability package resonates best with potential buyers.

Voting results are posted online. (As of Wednesday morning, the diesel Groove is in the lead with more than 40% of the 33,752 votes cast.)

Comments

Schmeltz

I wonder how difficult it would be to manufacture and offer all 3 vehicles? Each car seems to fit a slightly different demographic. And with platform sharing running rampant in the Auto industry, it seems to me GM could score with more sales by offering all 3, then limiting it to just one vehicle. Thoughts?

Hydrid+E85

They'll never see production, so don't waste your time.

GM needs to puch Volt production and roll out hybrids and E85 capable trucks/SUVs. Otherwise, they won't survive

Richard

What is the URL?

Rich

www.vote4chevrolet.com

stomv

A big promo, and a really crappy results page. Huh.

Richard

Rich, thanks for the link. I didn't see where you vote for the motor.

BlackSun

The first two look dangerously close to the Scion xA and xB.

William

I vote for future production to be PHEV or nothing for these
little GM, late to market, wanna be Toyota Scions. GM, just
import the Cherry and call it a day. Cars are not American
Idols, that you vote for, because the Network gives you only their spoon feed choices. Vote with the Dollar in the showroom
of your choice. Then, when the facts and figures indicate
buyers want Clean, Lean, and Green, as they did yesterday,
you will design and build more of the same. If you don't want
to get in on the trend, and keep sacrificing market share for
large vehicle profitability, then the term "The Big Three" will symbolize the last vehicles that you clinged on to, before your
business model sank like the Titanic. SUV's, Hummers, Trucks,
Glug,Glug,Glug....Is that the bottom I see ahead.

mahonj

What matters is getting people to drive more efficient cars. This can be achieved by using a high tech drivetrain like hybrid or PHEV or whatever or just by getting people into smaller cars.

This looks like the "smaller cars" approach which is just as valid - what matters is the outcome (lower CO2 or gas consumption), not the means of achieving it.

The smaller cars can be complimentary to larger hybrid vehicles, but much cheaper to make and buy.

George K

Wow, 51,311 votes!

"GM needs to puch Volt production and roll out hybrids and E85 capable trucks/SUVs. Otherwise, they won't survive"

I agree with this too. On the other hand, rolling out high mileage practical cars is also a good direction. Just don't push out the Volt by 1 day!

On the other hand, they also need to move their hybrid technology into ALL new cars. For example, belt alternator starter (BAS) or, sum such, should be a basic requirement to at least shut off the engine while stopped. Then go on from there with "2 mode" technology for much better mileage, if price can be kept in line.

Ash

Where is the option to vote for "all of these drivetrains suck" ?
:)

JMartin

Last night Nightline (ABC) did a piece on this PR from GM. All the GM executives blamed their declining market share on design and packaging -- no admission that they did not offer cars people want. They said nothing about fuel efficiency, just the look. This reminds me of the 80's when the Big 3 offered junk but with enhanced sound systems -- so you could listen to music while waiting for the tow truck.

My bet is that these will all remain concept cars and never see the dealer's lot.

Hydrid+E85

GeorgeK - you are easily impressed.

What's 50K votes for a nationwide campaign? American Idol gets 40 million votes every week :)

rich

I believe the voting started yesterday or today so 50,000 votes is really good.

anonymous

Is it me or does the Beat look remarkably similar to the WTCC Ultra concept that Chevrolet previewed a little while back at NAIAS? That one was a performance diesel concept I think, although I know the beat isn't.

Edna

Good Lord, GM is so SUV-focused that even their concepts for "mini cars" look like obnoxious SUVs! I vote for "none of the above". It is sad and telling to see what they perceive as small. They never cease to amaze me by just how profoundly they do not get it.

anon

Plus, the Beat is already used by Honda. Hope Honda sues GM if they try to sell this.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Beat

Schmeltz

Edna:
You think these 3 cars look like SUV's? HUH????? In fact the Beat sort of looks like Honda's Fit. Not sure if we are even talking about the same thing here. And as for them not being small enough, why don't you strap on your helmet and ride your lawnmower around town for awhile. As for the rest of us, these gargantuan Chevy's will have to do I guess.

Kevin

This is too simplistic a survey, GM could easily give a choice of body styles and a choice of drivetrains. Doing so would give them far more information about what their potential customers want, from my perspective, I want any of the cars with a small diesel motor that I can run on biodiesel, and when I replace that in 5 years I want a PHEV with a biodiesel compatible genset.

I am not sure I am asking the impossible here.

My biggest struggle is that I think the GM challengers and supporters actually want GM to get it right and succeed, I am just not sure they are capable of doing so. A bit like an old greaty basketball player who just cant dunk anymore

Edna

Anon, I was just coming back to add a p.s. comment that I ended up voting for the Beat afterall, out of those three choices. Not thrilled with any of them but at least it isn't reminiscent of an SUV like the other two. GM needs to clue in to the subcompact demographic and realize that your typical buyer in that demographic does not want something that even looks like an SUV, no matter the size. So you guzzz think the Beat looks like the Fit? I didn't think so, but now that you point it out, I do see a similarity! If I had to buy a new car today, I would probably buy a Fit. Anyway, I'm holding out for a 2008 Smartfortwo.

Lou Grinzo

This survey is a joke.

If GM really wanted to know what people think, instead of this cheap PR stunt they would contract with a polling company and get a statistically meaningful result.

Mark A

You guys complain when GM appears to do nothing, and then when they do something....you guys COMPLAIN AGAIN! I am sure some of you would complain about winning the lottery!

Just the fact that GM is considering these small types of vehicles should be considerable to all of us, no matter how they do it. Couple that with the fact that the Chevy Volt idea is out there, when battery tech is up to snuff, along with the Saturn hybrids and the Silverado mild hybrids, are all movements in the right direction. Dont think GM is not learning something this whole time. Something will carry over in the future.

Just give GM its due. Its trying, and its slowly making changes. At least they are not sticking a "Hemi" badge on everything and trying to stuff that down our throats. Of course some of you will not agree with me. But you can always vote with your pocketbooks. Thats the most meaningfull vote for everyone concerned.

andrichrose

Gm have had a hard time trying to sell small cars in europe , they
just cannot compete which the quality of the japanese competition
and the querky design of the european home grown small cars.
I would not buy any of these offerings when I could have a
Fiat gran Punto with its ultra enonomical engine range , or the Yaris
with its outright startling quality !
If they are truely the number one car manufacturer why do they
not bust a gut and get the volt out a couple of years early , this company
has an R%D buget larger than the GNP of most african countries ,and
they are trying to impress us with these hollow offerings, obviously
a company in deep crisis !

Adam Galas

A 1 Liter Diesel! Hell Yes! Imagine the fuel economy on that puppy! 50 MPG real world driving on 100% biodiesel!

I'll take it!

Cervus

andri:

Look up the Opel Astera. One of the best selling small cars in Europe. It'll soon be over here as a Saturn.

Personally, the designs are interesting but I'm not willing go break out my wallet for any of them.

I wonder if the diesel is T2b5 compliant?

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