Dave Leggett | 11 February 2010
Chevrolet Spark is an interesting vehicle and the latest instalment in the ambitious Chevrolet project. The thing with Chevrolet is to look at the global scale of sales for the value brand. There is a lot of volume for the BRICs, naturally.
And in Western markets – like the UK? The Aldi of the automotive world? UK MD Mark Terry spins an upbeat tale of not having enough Captivas to meet demand last year, of getting into new segments. The Orlando will be an interesting one.
I still don't quite get how Volt works as a Chevrolet in markets outside the US where Opel/Vauxhall is selling it as Ampera. Well, they don't sell fresh lobster in Aldi or Lidl do they? Actually, I'm told, they do. With more people from the more upscale supermarkets downtrading in the recession, they found demand for it. Brands and the way people perceive them aren't set in stone.
Incidentally, I stayed in a prison cell for the Spark launch – well, it was once a prison but has been converted into a hotel. Cool place. You know that prison scene in the movie The Italian Job? When Noel Coward's Mr Underworld walks down the staircase in the prison gallery to a rousing chorus of 'England!' from the other inmates. That was filmed there.
I'm starting to get a small idea of the scale of things here in China, but really, I'm only scratching the surface of this vast country....