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GM India Launches Chevrolet Beat; Global Mini Car to Be Introduced in 150 Markets

The Chevrolet Beat. Click to enlarge.

GM India launched the Chevrolet Beat, the next offering from the 300 series after the Cruze, at a ceremony in India presided over by its President & Managing Director, Karl Slym. Based on GM’s global mini-vehicle architecture, the Beat will be launched in more than 150 markets around the world including those in Europe and North America, where it will be sold as the Spark.

Newly developed for the next-generation global mini, the S-TEC II engine—a 4-cylinder, 16-valve 1199cc DOHC engine—delivers fuel economy of 18.6 km/L (43.8 mpg US, 5.4 L/100km), with peak power of 80.5 PS (79 hp, 59 kW). The Beat in India comes in three trim levels of 1.2, 1.2LS and 1.2LT. In addition, an Option pack is available on the LT variant which consists of ABS, Alloy wheels, Dual Airbags and Seatbelts with Load limiters.

(A lower displacement, 995cc version of the S-TEC engine is featured in the new Matiz Creative launched by GM Daewoo in August. Earlier post.)

The S-TEC II engine features the first-in-segment application of the PDA (Port De-Activation) system to ensure high exhaust gas recirculation, resulting in combustion stability at low speeds and optimal performance at high speeds together with improved fuel efficiency. In addition, the PDA system contributes to a reduction in emissions.

Another first-in-segment application is an automatic temperature controller inside the engine, which helps improve fuel efficiency by reducing unnecessary heat loss. A dome-type long-skirt cylinder block narrows the space between intake valves while the application of four resonators reduces engine noise. Mated with the S-TEC-II engine is a 5-speed manual transmission.

Adopting the body-frame integral (BFI) system, the upper body structure and frame are engineered as a single unit, resulting in better feel of the road along with a heightened sense of firmness and stability, and enhanced connectivity between the driver and vehicle. A McPherson strut front suspension combined with a four-point mounted long engine cradle and a width power reduction spring enhances the solidity of the entire chassis, for improved crash safety and driving performance. A rear compound crank torsion beam incorporates a tubular V-beam for more effective tuning and dynamic performance.

A first-in-segment triple acoustic absorbent structure and special underbody structure prevent noise inflow from outside to reduce noise. Wind noise is minimized through the Beat’s aerodynamic body line and detailed door sealing structure.

A first-in-segment offering of an integrated rear spoiler as standard equipment essentially extends the rear roofline, for enhanced aerodynamic performance and provides a stable stance in high-speed driving as well as increased fuel efficiency, according to GM.

General Motors India began operations in 1996 and now offers products under the Chevrolet brand, which was introduced in India in 2003. Based on the success of the Chevrolet brand, General Motors India registered a record growth of 101% in sales in December 2009, compared to the corresponding period in 2008—8,258 units against 4,041 units. This marked the highest-ever monthly sales figure achieved by GM India since its inception.


Will S

Too bad the Beat and Matiz are not available in the US and EU.


GM's future may very be in China and India.

Brazil, Russia and Eastern Europe are other places where the New GM could be profitable.

Many plants in USA and Canada may have to be downsized or progressively phased out unless they can compete in the world market.


“the Beat will be launched in more than 150 markets around the world including those in Europe and North America.”


How many of the GM cars built abroad are actually sold in USA?

I used a locally built Buick on my latest trip to China and it was a well built fine car. It is probably one of the best current GM product.


A good car as long as you dont mind being crippled for life in any front end accident.

Stan Peterson

I am interested in more information on the 'S-Tec II' engine. I guess that it is the 1.2 liter engine from the Family 0, and the smaller version of the Cruze 1.4 liter and Volt.

OTOH, It might be a new engine family, although I doubt it. The Family 0 is not the most modern but it is still a fairly modern design. Unlike the decade older Family I engine family, which needs a clean sheet replacemnt.

Will S

And GM may be teaming with Reva to turn this into a BEV, perhaps available in the US and/or EU;

Stan Peterson

For those speculating on using a smaller engine in the Volt, I don't think it saves much. Or really anything to have the same engine block with essentially the same weight and dimensions, but with a smaller displacement, screaming at redline, to produce the power needed to spin the generator for the main battery in the Volt.

The 1.0 liter in the de-contented Spark/Beat known as the Matiz Creative, is a smaller displacement of the 1.2 liter in the Beat/Spark, and that is probably the mid-size engine of the 1.0 L - 1.4 Liter Cruze/Volt, Family 0 engine. Mileage seesm essentially the same in the near identical Creative and Spark, 1.0 and 1.2 liter engines.


"How many of the GM cars built abroad are actually sold in USA?"
Not counting those built in Canada, not many.

And even if this undersized little thing were to sell well (chances are somewhere between fat and slim, of that) it would NOT be a GM car built with US labor.

USA manufacturers rarely survive when they move their production facilities abroad - witness the electronic, electrical, tool, toy, machinery, clothing, furniture industries, etc.

Will S


Smaller engines can indeed weigh less. And it wouldn't be "screaming at redline", it would be running predominantly in it's highest BSFC zone (unless a high demand like extended climbing over a mountain pass, we'll see what GM engineers throw in). And what are your sources on the Spark/Creative fuel economy numbers?

TT, where are you getting your numbers from concerning US manufacturers? If you mean they simple become multinational corps, then that would make sense. If you mean that they can't compete with Chinese clones, that's another matter altogether. Are you assuming the Beat/Spark would only be built in India (and perhaps China)?

Will S

For more on BSFC, see BSFC explained


"And even if this undersized little thing were to sell well (chances are somewhere between fat and slim, of that) it would NOT be a GM car built with US labor."

You need to get your facts straight.

This car is scheduled to be PRODUCED and sold in the US in 2011. One of the agreements that was made with the unions during the restructuring was that this car would be made in the USA.


I think the Beat will be built in India - the Cruze and maybe the Beat engines will be built in Flint.

“GM has launched the Chevrolet Beat in India ahead of the Delhi Motor Show. Production started mid-December 2009 at GM’s Talegaon Kohinoor plant in India, which will export 20% of its output by the end of this year.”

You ask "TT, where are you getting your numbers"
To what numbers are you referring?

What I mean is that when US auto makers import autos they export jobs.
That’s very simple.

It does not matter if the corporation becomes multinational (or not) or if they can or cannot compete with Chinese clones (but that IS why they import the autos) or whether they are built in India, China, Taiwan or wherever – if the US auto makers import autos, they export jobs.

BSFC, per your source:
“Every engine has a minimum on the plot of BSFC versus Engine speed.
Higher engine speeds produce a high BSFC because of rising friction losses in the engine.

Also modifying an existing engine by increasing the bore to maintain hp while reducing the rpm will usually improve BSFC.

Smaller engines are desirable when most driving is done at part throttle - a gen set should be run at WOT, low rpm, max torque, min BSFC (see the curves at your source).

And more displacement might reduce weight as you remove some of the cast iron from the bore.

Use of an existing engine reduces costs.

Bottom line is you really need to keep in mind that cost IS the bottom line.


"What I mean is that when US auto makers import autos they export jobs. That’s very simple."

At the risk of repeating myself, this car is going to be sold in the US and the US market cars will be manufactured in the United States of America using US labor. It will be sold as the Chevrolet Spark and will replace the Korean made Aveo. It is sold as the Chevrolet Beat in India and the Matiz Creative in Korea and under other names in other countries. It is just another GM world car (Gamma Platform) and was originally designed by GM Daewoo. I am not sure what engines will be available in the US. Apparently it will also be called the Chevrolet Spark in Europe where it will be available with a 1 liter and a 1.2 liter turbo-charged engine and will be available this quarter(1Q 2010). At least some of the European cars will be made in Poland. The US made version will not be available until 2011.


In the source I attached, it says;
"Production started mid-December 2009 at GM’s Talegaon Kohinoor plant in India,“
That means it is manufactured in India using Indian labor.

In India, NOT in the US.
It will apparently be imported.

You believe some will be made in the US in 2011.

I don’t know why you think so, but I doubt it, not in any significant way, even if GM claims that is their “Plan”.



Once more. Yes, production started mid-December 2009 at GM’s Talegaon Kohinoor plant in India, using Indian labor. It will be sold in India as the Chevrolet Beat. Some of the production will be exported but not to the United States. Production had already been started in Bupyong, South Korea on September 1, 2009. The car is being sold in Korea as a Daewoo Matiz Creative. Much more of the Korean production will be exported but again not to the United States although the current sub-compact Chevrolet Aveo is made by Daewoo. The same car will also be manufactured in Australia under a Holden name. It will be manufactured in Warsaw, Poland for sale in Europe as a Chevrolet Spark Q1, 2010. It may also be manufactured in other Eastern European countries. It will be sold in Latin America as a Chevrolet Spark and will be manufactured in Columbia and probably Brazil. It will not be available in the US market until 2011 but it will be manufactured in the United States by US labor. This was part of the Labor agreement that GM made with the unions in their restructuring. Yes, the world may end before 2011 in which case it will not happen.

I read the articles as a source of information but I read the comments mostly for amusement.

Will S

TT wrote;

"BSFC, per your source:
“Every engine has a minimum on the plot of BSFC versus Engine speed.
Higher engine speeds produce a high BSFC because of rising friction losses in the engine."

Indeed, the best BSFC is not at high engine RPMs. See the chart in the link I provided.


Stan, the GM genset does not recharge or augment the battery - it drives the motor/wheels. The thinking there is get the vehicle to a grid recharge point rather than use liquid fuel to recharge the battery.

This is in part why the ICE runs at variable RPMs to accommodate demand from traction.


Sulleny, you're nuts.  The Volt has no mechanical connection between the sustainer and the wheels; any difference between the sustainer's instantaneous output and driver demand goes to (or comes from) the battery.

Will S

In all fairness, Edmunds *did* publish a confusing article on this topic that said the engine will not recharge the battery. The engine *will* attempt to keep the battery at 30% DoD, though it will do just as EP said.


I once asked if the engine in the Volt genset turns on and off during highway cruising and I got several responses. People get caught up in charge sustain and charge depletion mode terms and range extender labeling. All I want to know is does the Volt engine come on, charge the batteries and turn off...a simple yes or no will do.


USA and Canada may have priced themselves out of many markets, including most cars, specially small cars and probably most electrified cars of the future.

That's what happened many times before with TVs, Radios, PCs, Printers, Cameras, many Appliances, Air conditionners, Heat pumps, electrical components, car parts, clothes, linens, furniture, sport goods, toys, and 1000 more common items.

Batteries may be a different game because the plants could be fully automated (with government help) to drastically reduce labour cost in order to be more competitive. Otherwise, they too will be imported.



It seems that the Volt has a stop-start genset. When the battery pack is charged at 80% (or so) the genset should turn itself off. That should happen often in heavy traffic, when most cars are coasting or stopped. It may or may not happen at every traffic lights, depending on the state of charge of the battery pack.

Calvin Brock

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