General Motors Chevrolet brand will unveil the production version of the Spark minicar at the Geneva auto show in March. The five-door car, which will replace the Matiz, will go on sale in Europe in early 2010. In some European markets Chevrolet already uses the name Spark for the car.
Originally seen as the Chevrolet Beat concept in 2007, a near-production concept of the Spark was shown at the Detroit auto show. The Spark will launch in the US in 2011.
The car is important for the US because it is part GMs plan to offer more fuel-efficient models there.
The Spark can travel 40 miles on a gallon of fuel (in European terms that is fuel use of about 5.9 liter per 100km).
As the US enters a recession, sales of smaller cars are also expected to increase at the expense of larger cars.
GM said the Spark would provide versatility with a fresh, youthful exterior and interior design that is reflected in the selection of materials and colors.
The Spark will be built at Chevrolets factory in Changwon, South Korea.
Also at the Detroit show, Troy Clarke, president of GM North America, announced that the Chevrolet Orlando concept would go into production in 2010. The concept was shown at the Paris auto show last September. European sales of the car are expected to start in early 2011.
Wayne Brannon, executive director of Chevrolet Europe, said in a statement: With their fresh, clean approach, we believe Spark and Orlando will appeal to a wide range of customers who want fuel efficiency, functionality and great design combined with excellent value.