Spark has just had a MY2019 facelift for the US

Spark has just had a MY2019 facelift for the US

General Motors South Korean unit has said it might discontinue the Spark mini car and replace it with a crossover, due to falling demand in the key US market.

Sales for the Spark slumped 36% to 22,589 units in the US last year.

The news came as CChevrolet's US unit announced a facelift and new optional active safety technology for the 2019 Spark saying this adds "attitude and purpose to Chevrolet's feisty, segment sales-leading mini-car".

"Customers can easily personalise Spark, which is a main reason why it leads its segment in sales, attracting both young buyers and women to the brand," said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet marketing director for cars and crossovers. "Spark is an excellent value for customers seeking an affordable car that offers great safety technology and connectivity."

New, optional Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking can help drivers prevent or reduce the severity of low-speed front-end collisions by applying the brakes or enhancing the driver's braking.

A GM Korea spokesman told Reuters the production plan for the new crossover was dependent on support from the South Korean government and concessions for its local union. The new model would go into production in 2022.

General Motors had said in February it plans to shut down one of its factories in South Korea, and was rethinking the operational viability of three other plants in the country.

The move also comes as sales of GM's Opel brand in Europe might put a dent on the demand for Spark, which is exported to Europe as Opel's Karl and Vauxhall's Viva.

According to Reuters, Opel said earlier it would shift production from South Korea to Europe and import nearly 200,000 less vehicles per year from South Korea by 2020.

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