The Chevrolet Spark was the top performing passenger vehicle in the 2011 Synovate Product Quality Awards. With just 17 faults per 100 vehicles, the standard measure in vehicle quality surveys, the Spark featured ahead of even top end luxury vehicles available to South African buyers – a superb performance for this stylish small car from Chevrolet.

Spark Johannesburg Car Show 2011

The Synovate Product Quality Survey that determines the results for the annual awards is the largest survey of its kind in South Africa and forms part of Synovate’s Syndicated Automotive Research – a study of the quality of sales and service transactions within the motor industry as well product quality. This study collectively surveys on average 33 000 South African vehicle buyers each year.

Respondents are interviewed three months after purchasing their vehicles to ascertain what problems, if any, have been experienced in the initial period of ownership. The score for the survey is measured in terms of the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles of the type surveyed. The fewer problems reported by owners the lower the score.

“It is a feather in the cap to the General Motors Engineering and Quality Assurance teams for their dedication to the pursuit of high manufacturing quality and to our dealers for their dedication to a thorough pre-delivery procedure,” said Andy Alexander, GM Sub-Saharan Quality Manager.

The Spark is one of three new vehicle assembly platforms, with a combined value of R1 billion, which will be assembled at the Port Elizabeth plant in the future.  “As we commence with the pilot-build phase of the Spark programme, rigorous focus has been placed on manufacturing quality to ensure that GM’s high global quality standards are achieved,” Alexander added.

The company’s alignment with GM’s Global Manufacturing System (GMS) and quality processes is already showing results through its holistic focus on quality in all aspects of manufacturing, sales and service. “During the past few years we have seen continuous improvement in the quality of our products and the Synovate results bear testimony to this fact,” said Alexander.

In addition to the Spark’s great achievement, the Chevrolet Utility continues to notch up successes in the Synovate survey, once again taking top honours in the three-quarter ton segment of the market.  The Utility which is locally manufactured in Port Elizabeth has been the sales leader in the segment for 77 consecutive months. “This feisty sub one ton has surpassed its competitors in the Synovate Quality Survey since 2005,” said Alexander.

GM South Africa aims to continue these product successes as it gears up for the production of the all new Chevrolet Utility later this year and the Hot New Spark early in 2012.

The achievement of the Spark as the benchmark performer in the 2011 Synovate Product Quality Awards reflects the popularity of this small Chevrolet in the market place. In the first eight months of the year 4 914 Sparks have been delivered to customers.

Sales of 691 units in July followed by 949 in August, as the eighth best-selling vehicle in South Africa for the month, are indicative of the Spark’s growing reputation in the market place.