Chevrolet's 3-Door Kalos Points Way to a Sportier Aveo
Canadian Auto Press
Chevrolet is the definitive American brand, a staple for the North American consumer when it comes to affordable automobiles, sport utilities and pick up trucks, reaching a level of household notoriety that few brands can challenge.
While Chevrolet may rein supreme in North America, its brand equity isn't as strong elsewhere in the world. This won't surprise anyone who has traveled to Europe, for instance, where the only Chevy that you might see is a Corvette, and that would be a rare sighting. Another GM rarity might be a late model Cadillac, but again you'd need to drive for quite some time to see one.
The move to swap nameplates on Daewoo's 2005 lineup was a surprise to most nevertheless, and one that seems questionable being that those who disrespect the Daewoo brand will now cast the same doubt over Chevrolet. After all, most Europeans will be savvy enough to notice that a new badge is all that separates the Chevrolets from their Daewoo predecessors, making the strategy to establish the bowtie brand in Europe odd to say the least.
Nevertheless Chevrolet premiered its branding affixed to a new Daewoo-sourced (well actually GMDAT or General Motors Daewoo Automotive & Technology Company sourced) production model at this year's Paris Motor Show.
Currently the Kalos (Aveo) is only available as a five-door hatchback and a four-door notchback sedan, but a sporty and stylish three-door version was what Chevrolet chose for introducing its brand to Europe, a model that is sure to show up in various incantations throughout the world in short order. The Kalos 3-door is expected to be in European showrooms as early as February 2005 in a series of new Chevrolet-branded dealerships.
The 3-door Kalos has a few purposes. One is to give the subcompact a trendy new look emphasizing sportiness, which is translated through a more curved roofline and angular rear quarter windows. Although it doesn't have a pair of rear doors, the Kalos retains the same dimensions of its 5-door hatch at 3,880 mm (152.8 inches) in length, 1,670 mm (65.7 inches) in width, and 1495 mm (58.9 inches) in height. What has changed, however, are minor details such as new bumpers, plus aerodynamically optimized add-ons such as the rooftop rear spoiler, and of course the golden bowtie badge. Unlike the five-door, the new three-door also features wedge-like door rub-strips to add an extra bit of visual flair while protecting the handsome body. The European Kalos features unique headlights, which encompass the main beams plus the turn signals, a slightly different design than the North American Aveo.
The Kalos is expected to be the building block for the Chevrolet brand in Europe. In its two years of production, the five-door Kalos made up 42 percent of Daewoo sales and was considered to be the brand's most important model. Statistics have proven this claim veritable, with some 40,000 orders already taken in the first six months of this year and a total of 21,000 units in the USA for the Aveo.
Will we get the Kalos three-door? The answer, while not confirmed by General Motors, is most likely yes. Currently, Toyota is the only manufacturer in Canada to offer a three-door subcompact budget vehicle, and therefore it would be foolish of General Motors to allow the Japanese firm to reap all the rewards of being the only member of the class.
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