The International Chevys
Chevrolet flexed it's international muscle at this year's Detroit auto show.
January 14, 2013
By: Nick Saporito
pics: Alex Villani
Last week Chevrolet announced an all-new marketing campaign, simply dubbed "Find New Roads." The campaign has many deep, complicated meanings about GM's bread and butter brand, however among the meanings is a nod to the brand's international flare. Chevrolet, despite feeling like a very "American" brand in North America, is actually sold in over 140 countries today, and in many of those countries the brand has unique products for those regions.
Chevy brought five international products to the Detroit show this year; none of which have an exceedingly high chance of ever being sold in the United States, though two of them can be found just to our north. Among the five were the Orlando and Trax, two new crossovers that are being sold in Canada and other global markets.
The Orlando is a three-row crossover based on the Delta (C-Segment) architecture. As one would expect by seeing photos of it, the interior of the Orlando looks very much like that of the Cruze, and the material quality is similar. In fact, the argument can be made that certain aspects of the interior are better than the Cruze, such as a storage bin behind the radio buttons that houses a USB port.
Originally the Orlando was slated for the U.S. market, however it was scrapped at the last minute. One such reason it was scrapped may be because of the third row seat. While having two extra seats may be a perk for some, there is no question that this third row is reserved for small children or people you really dislike. Just about every dimension of the third row--except headroom--is tight.
The Trax also has ties to the U.S. It is based off the Opel Mokka and Buick Encore, which isn't tough to figure out just by looking at or inside the Trax. We would easily give the Trax the nod for U.S. consumption, though some of the materials feel a bit on the cheap side.
Chevrolet also displayed the Onix, Spin and Sail models. The Onix is a new hatchback for emerging markets, specifically Brazil. It is an attractive little car that appears to borrow some of its design from the Cruze, which it shares its platform with. Inside the interior is understandably less elaborate than that of the Cruze, though still not bad. Chevy's MyLink with touchscreen is there, as well as interior accent colors that match the exterior.
The Spin is yet another crossover for global consumption. Ironically it is configured on the same platform as the Orlando and is, well, a lot like the Orlando. The only difference is that the Spin is a little more mundane, though it feels much more roomy inside and houses a very high-end rear-seat entertainment system. The Spin is currently sold in Brazil, with plans to migrate to other emerging markets shortly.
Last, but certainly not least is the Sail. The Sail is essentially a rehashed version of the last generation Aveo. Both inside and out, it is clear the Sail is strictly for emerging markets, because it would never fly in North America, contrary to our own Alex Villani's opinion that the car could compete with the Nissan Versa and undercut it in price. Regardless, the car was surprisingly roomy and, well, that's about it.