By on October 14, 2011

As I noted earlier this week, GM’s decision to bring a pure-electric version of the Chevy Spark to the US opens up an interesting challenge to its “range anxiety”-centric marketing approach. But WardsAuto reports that there’s another challenging question coming out of the decision: where will the baby EV be built? And as I’ve found, GM’s reticence on the topic of the Spark EV program only deepens the mystery for Wards, which writes

Some media are reporting the EV will come from South Korea, where gasoline- and diesel-powered Sparks currently are produced. If so, that’s news to the folks at GM Korea.

GM Korea does not have a prototype of the Spark EV, and “no location of production has been decided yet,” a spokesman tells WardsAuto. He also says there is no EV activity at the GM minicar production complex, located in Changwon, the sole source for the Spark.

Nor is there a Spark EV prototype at the main engineering and vehicle-production complex in Bupyeong, where GM Korea is headquartered.

The Spark is built in Korea, India and Uzbekistan, and EV development of the previous-generation Spark took place in India, initially under REVA and later in-house at GM. An EV version of the Chevy New Sail has also been developed in China, while an EV Cruze is being tested in Korea. But GM won’t say which of its global divisions is developing the new Spark EV, let alone where it will eventually be made. One thing seems certain though: unlike the Volt, this forthcoming EV won’t enjoy the benefits of a “Made in USA” sticker (even though the Volt’s battery cells, transmission and range-extending engine are currently built in Korea, Japan and Austria respectively). In fact, the Spark EV could just be the first Indian- or Chinese-built car to go on sale in the US.

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7 Comments on “Where Will The Chevrolet Spark EV Be Built?...”


  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    I’m not sure how big a market for EV that’s based on regular production car. Most people buy EV not for emission-free motoring or to save money (which they won’t), but to be seen as a saint for the environment, feeling high and mighty over all those gasoline-driving sinners. Which you won’t get by driving an EV that looks like a regular gasoline car, not a very desirable one at that. All the disadvantage of an EV, none of the advantage.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Most people buy EV not for emission-free motoring or to save money (which they won’t), but to be seen as a saint for the environment

      Interesting. Did you get the information from a study? Could you give us a link to it?

      • 0 avatar
        RedStapler

        Wait until the next disaster (man made or natural) jacks fuel prices through the roof again.

        Anything small and “green” will fetch top dollar from the stampede of sheeple. At the peak of the insanity in summer 2007 people were selling 4x4s for 40% of low book while used Metros were selling for absurd prices and Prii were going for $3-5k over sticker.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @red stapler: One of the things I observed from the Japanese disaster this year: electrical supply shortages.

        As expensive as fuel may become, most conventional cars will run on it. Obviously, an all-electric car may become completely useless if the power grid is down for any length of time. I can’t imagine that if the power is on for a few hours a day that people will be allowed or would want to divert the energy to their electric cars.

      • 0 avatar
        ihatetrees

        @RedStapler

        You may have a point. Demand and the economy are weak, yet we’re still near $4/gallon.

        Don’t forget the consequences of a strong economic recovery. (It eventually will recover, regardless of how poor things currently look).

        Combine strong demand with politically restricted supply, Mid East uncertainty, and numerous fiscally degenerate governments, and $6/gallon gas in 2014 wouldn’t surprise me.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    BTW it’s change anxiety not range anxiety.

  • avatar
    Advo

    Uzbekistan?

    Isn’t that where they have all the oil they have difficulty getting out of the country? It’s unlikely, but it would be ironic if electric cars get imported to the US or Europe from a developing nation at or near all those oil supplies.


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