In May 2012 General Motors South Africa began shipping the locally manufactured Spark to its dealer network which formed part of GMSA’s R1 billion investment in three local vehicle assembly programmes.
“The localisation of the Spark has delivered a number of advantages for us,” says Malcolm Gauld, GMSA’s Vice-President of Vehicle Sales Service and Marketing. The small car or A-segment of the market offers significant growth potential in a climate of continued global economic stress. South Africa is not exempt from the impact of this, buyers are increasingly attracted to the economies of operation offered by small cars like the Chevrolet Spark that offer an exceptional value proposition, either as an entry level purchase or as a stylish everyday urban transport solution. The regular appearance of the Spark in the monthly top-ten best sellers list is testimony to this.
“Localisation of the Spark immediately allowed us to apply a meaningful price reduction and reposition the range in the market against its competitors. Savings passed on to the customer announced back in May last year ranged from 7% on lower end models to just on 10% at the top of the range. At the root of this new level of affordability is a significant saving in costs achieved through local manufacture together with a degree of insulation from imported cost pressures, an increasingly important factor given the pressure on the value of the Rand over the past few months. Another factor is improved manufacturing synergies between our facilities here and other GM global manufacturing plants, such as GM Korea.”
A further benefit that comes with localisation of the Spark is the opportunity afforded to us to tailor the range to specific local market requirements. This flexibility was evidenced with the introduction of the Spark Campus late last year as a third model in the range specifically targeted at younger buyers on a budget.
This flexibility is again evident in the Spark line-up for the 2013 model year with the range extended upwards with the addition of the Chevrolet Spark LT as the premium specification model. This new model comes together with a number of styling enhancements across the range to refresh the Spark in keeping with contemporary local preferences.
Also new for 2013 in the Chevrolet Spark range is the addition of a stylish small commercial transport solution, the Spark Pronto, made possible by the localisation of the Spark. This snappy light delivery vehicle is targeted at businesses, large or small, that have a need to deliver small parcels in an urban environment.
Developed for local manufacture with the full technical and engineering support of Chevrolet in Korea, the Pronto features passenger vehicle like comfort levels together with a 275kg and 876 litre payload capacity and exceptional operating economy. Average fuel consumption is just 5,4 l/100km.
The Pronto is an ideal delivery platform for pharmaceutical and medical laboratory customers as well as service representatives, florists, in fact anyone whose business involves the delivery of smaller packages to multiple urban destinations. It also offers an ideal solution for security companies as a quick response vehicle. As a true commercial vehicle the Spark Pronto offers the advantage of a full VAT rebate on the purchase price to VAT-registered businesses.
The Chevrolet Spark for 2013 optimises the advantages offered by local manufacture to improve the value proposition of this popular small car range, contain costs and pass on savings to the customer, and to offer innovative local transport solutions without compromise to safety, quality or specification.
The Spark is a, now more than ever, serious contender on value for money specification in the entry level segment. Couple this with class leading safety specification, including ABS brakes, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, and airbags for both driver and front seat passenger – standard on all models in the range including the Pronto – and the Spark emerges clearly ahead of the opposition in its segment. Spark LT has dual front airbags (driver / passenger) and seat side airbags as well as rear park assist sensors.