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July 3 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp., the automaker that popularized the Hummer, may sell a mini-car four feet (1.2 meters) shorter than its biggest offering and more than a foot shorter than anything else it markets in the U.S. to win back buyers scared off by high fuel prices.

GM may bring the production version of the Chevrolet Beat to the U.S., people familiar with the plan said. The car, which would normally be reserved for markets such as Asia and Latin America, gets as much as 40 miles a gallon, a fuel efficiency topped in the U.S. only by hybrids.


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=ayOBVrTWkn0E&refer=home
 

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GM shifting tiny Chevy Beat car to U.S.

GM shifting tiny Chevy Beat car to U.S.

By Steve Gelsi, MarketWatch
Last update: 10:05 a.m. EDT July 3, 2008NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - General Motors will shift its Chevrolet Beat concept car to the U.S. market as the ailing car maker attempts to lift its fortunes from its lowest stock price since the Eisenhower administration, according to a report Thursday.

The perky two-door, which packs a gas-sipping 1.2 liter turbocharged engine, had been targeted for the Asian and Latin American markets, gets about 40 miles to the gallon.

With GM's truck sales in a free-fall, the ailing car giant's market cap now comes in at $6 billion, a fraction of other components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

GM shares skidded to a multi-year low of $9.98 a share on Wednesday, on a key downgrade from Merrill Lynch.

Consensus is growing on Wall Street that GM may have to float debt or issue stock to cope with its rising cash burn rate. The Detroit auto maker may be on the hook for as much as $15 billion, according to reports.

GM handed in an 18% drop in monthly vehicle sales on Tuesday, sideswiped by plunging consumer confidence and record-high gas prices. The stock moved up slightly on the news as Wall Street had expected an even more severe decline.

More here: http://www.marketwatch.com/news/sto...246-E4E6-45D5-A8FB-B818FD631E92}&siteid=yhoof
 

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I wish they'd bring the Beat and the Groove. I'd love a groove, and think the Beat would be popular amongst young people.
 

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Well, if the production model looks close to the concept then I think it would be hard to keep these on the lots. Couple that with the Groove (for 4 door lovers) and you have a VERY hot brand following brewing. I honestly can say that these two vehicles SMOKE the micro car offerings by Toyota & Honda in the style department.
 

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Well, I wish GM has jumped a bit sooner with all of the doom and gloom out there. Would have done wonders for their fuel efficiency image. I remember well the dour pooh-poohing the minicars got from Bob Lutz right about when they were introduced, and the negative reaction here at GMI to his discouraging words:
Lutz: U.S. not a frontrunner to get a new Chevy minicar

Of course, there was the addtional statement: "Unless something drastic changes, like gas prices going through the roof for more than a month, or a sudden fashion shift to tiny cars,"
I guess it was too much for me to hope for GM to lead and not wait for things to get really bad, banking on SUVs until the bitter end and then finally coming out and saying "Yes, it's bad enough now".

But we've seen spy shots of the "Beat" around the web, so I'm not so discouraged to think they've done nothing on this front. Then again, the "Beat" we've been seeing could be nothing more than a warmed over Matiz with Beat-inspired styling.

Still, I fear for anything planned out to 2010 or beyond. You saw it here first - 8/21/2005:

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f32/do-kei-cars-have-place-3-00-per-gallon-america-18927/
Who says saving gas (and money) needs to mean a stripper, rental grade Focus or Aveo? Or must require a pricey hybrid system? The answer I think is in small, nimble, fun to drive yet well designed and well-equipped cars like the 28/36 mpg MINI. But I say why not take that concept one step smaller (and cheaper)?
And...

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f32/time-smaller-car-standard-64235/
At the very least, such minicars might make a good stop-gap until GM and other automakers find a way to make Hybrid and Plug-In technology truly affordable to the masses in such a nightmare gasoline scenario. Not everyone will want to buy a $20,000-40,000 car for the sake of fuel efficiency, and just because we have safety laws between motorcycles and cars that (to me) make little sense, we should not be denied the option of affordable, 4-seater, fuel efficent cars that slot between motorbikes and today's U.S. automobiles.
http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f32/what-s-hot-do-gm-dealers-get-4723/
"But it's just an economy car, who cares about looks?"
 

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I always thought the Beat was coming to North America. I never realized it wasn't meant for sale here.

With the CAFE regulations, I don't see how GM could not sell this car here! It looks pretty good for a sub-compact so if they can add a competitive price with some great features (VVT, 6-speed manual/auto) it will be a gauranteed winner!
 

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I always thought the Beat was coming to North America. I never realized it wasn't meant for sale here.

With the CAFE regulations, I don't see how GM could not sell this car here!
The rumor here at GMI has been that it is/was a done deal, despite Bob Lutz' words of discouragement (see my post above).
 

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I agree with Jeep2C, I wish they'd bring the Groove. It would make a good replacement for the HHR or at least compliment it. I'm not sure how well the Beat will do, I just don't care for the styling. I like the Fiesta better.
 

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I agree with Jeep2C, I wish they'd bring the Groove. It would make a good replacement for the HHR or at least compliment it. I'm not sure how well the Beat will do, I just don't care for the styling. I like the Fiesta better.
The Groove is too much like a mix of the existing retro HHR - that seems to appeal to Baby Boomers and retirees more than young people who need a small affordable car - and the less than hot-selling new Scion Xb. The PT Cruiser / Scion Xb white haired owners, that is.

I don't think it would win many new customers who wouldn't already have considered the HHR. The Beat is significantly more radical and sharp looking than the Aveo, on the other hand. At least in concept form.

However, your post has a point in that GM might consider more than just one of the triplets if they're going to sell the Beat here anyway.



 

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Wait a second, I'm confused.. you mean at one point they had no plans to bring the Beat to the US market? I thought it was American's that voted between the Beat, Groove, and Trax to determine which one GM would green-light???

A week or two back we had semi-confirmation that the Trax was in Transformers 2, as well. I imagine they green-lit both, no? Why would they want that kind of publicity and advertising for a vehicle they don't plan to sell?

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they green-lit all three of the mini's at this point, all three had an extremely positive reaction and I would love the selection!
 

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I wish they'd bring the Beat and the Groove. I'd love a groove, and think the Beat would be popular amongst young people.
I voted for the Groove when the trio came out. Its pretty cool looking and the front is more in line with the new Chevrolet front design.
 

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Wait a second, I'm confused.. you mean at one point they had no plans to bring the Beat to the US market? I thought it was American's that voted between the Beat, Groove, and Trax to determine which one GM would green-light???

A week or two back we had semi-confirmation that the Trax was in Transformers 2, as well. I imagine they green-lit both, no? Why would they want that kind of publicity and advertising for a vehicle they don't plan to sell?

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they green-lit all three of the mini's at this point, all three had an extremely positive reaction and I would love the selection!
A. GM has had concept cars in movies before. See Demolition Man.

B. Bob Lutz and GM basically came out and told us that the voting thing was pretty much pointless, and that they had no plans to bring the Beat here. The impression they left me with (along with a bad taste in my mouth) was that unless things got so bad with big trucks and a shift to small cars - unless they were forced, kicking and screaming (by a country in love with small cars and good fuel economy), to act, they would not bring them here. And they would just bet on gas prices going down again and plan the next Silverado, Tahoe and Traverse for their "turnaround".

Flashback (see bottom in red):

GM 'blown away' over enthusiastic global response to minicar concepts


"Oh, geez, look what we went and did...Can someone tell these people they're just concepts so we can get back to talking about our next 7-passenger Crossover?"

Sharon Terlep / The Detroit News
05/10/2007

General Motors Corp. hoped to drum up some publicity with a Web site asking folks to vote on which of three super-small vehicle concepts the automaker should build.

But even the minds behind vote4chevrolet.com were taken aback by the response -- nearly 870,000 votes cast for one of the plucky rides.

The poll is far from scientific, as GM has no way to stop people from weighing in multiple times. Nonetheless, the groundswell of interest has the automaker thinking more seriously about bringing minicars to the United States.

"We were pretty blown away," GM spokesman Michael Albano said. "It has certainly opened our eyes to that segment here."

The three mini- or microcar concepts, called the Chevrolet Groove, Trax and Beat, are part of GM's global approach to design and manufacturing. They were designed in Inchon, South Korea, and assembled in the United States and India.

GM builds minicars in other markets, but the automaker hasn't determined whether there is strong enough demand to bring them to the United States.

But the potential is growing as soaring fuel prices are shifting consumer preferences toward smaller, more fuel-efficient and city-friendly vehicles.

Minicars represent about 5 percent of worldwide market, with some estimates suggesting they could account for 15 percent within a decade.

GM's miniconcepts debuted at the New York International Auto Show last month.

The Beat is a three-door hatchback that would offer front-wheel-drive high performance.

The Trax is a flat-faced micro-SUV, featuring a single molded plastic front end to help eliminate weight, tighten its design and improve gas mileage.

The Groove, nicknamed "Funkastalgia" by GM, is a five-door model with a stretched profile and flared fenders designed to give it a longer, tougher look.

As of Friday, the Groove was leading the vote with 54 percent to the Beat's 37 percent and Trax's 9 percent. The Web voting, which includes input from around the globe, won't single-handedly drive GM's decision to build here. The automaker still plans to conduct more traditional market research and would have to consider the logistics and costs of building such a vehicle and selling it here.

So far, GM has said it's not likely to bring one of the three vehicles to the United States anytime soon, and none of the three is built to meet U.S. safety standards. After the New York debut, GM product czar Bob Lutz said only a dramatic prolonged increase in fuel prices or an "unforeseen" change in demand for American small cars would justify selling them in the United States.

http://forums.motortrend.com/70/628...a-wise-up-mini-cars-get-870k-votes/index.html
 
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I wish they'd bring the Beat and the Groove. I'd love a groove, and think the Beat would be popular amongst young people.
I agree. The Groove was my favorite.

We need the Beat now more than ever. Good plan.
Yep.

Well, if the production model looks close to the concept then I think it would be hard to keep these on the lots. Couple that with the Groove (for 4 door lovers) and you have a VERY hot brand following brewing. I honestly can say that these two vehicles SMOKE the micro car offerings by Toyota & Honda in the style department.
My only complaint with the design of the Beat is the headlight assembly. Instead of haveing it reach all the way back to the a-pillar, I wish they would shorten it to accent the single round headlight.

Also the name Beat has potential negative connotations. Back in the 80's, ("the day"), the term "beat" meant it sucked. Used in a sentence, "that thing is beat". Kinda like how "bad" meant good. Except "beat" meant it wasn't cool. Just thought I would throw that out. Maybe the name "gear" would work, the Chevy Gear. Cuz back in my brothers "day", (the 60s), "gear" meant great. Like, "the Beattles are gear".

all right, enjoy your Fourth.
 

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Let's see how long it takes GM to build it for sale in U.S. GM has had incredibly long gestation periods. The new Shamaro is a shining example of how long GM takes to get a car to market.
 

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i see ralph nader's book making a come back,"unsafe at any speed".
 
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