By on January 10, 2013

Obsessive-weirdo fans of low-cost cars can get their thrills at Chevy’s NAIAS stand; despite the new full-size trucks and the C7 Corvette being on display, myself and a cadre of mouth breathers will no doubt be poring over the low-cost cars being put on display by the Bowtie brand, for no other reason than to avoid the rush of anxiety-inducing crowds.

Among the products being brought to NAIAS

-The Chevrolet Trax, a bowtie-badged Buick Encore

The Chevrolet Orlando, which TTAC reviewed earlier

-The Chevrolet Spin, an Indonesian compact minivan

-The Chevrolet Sail, a Chinese subcompact

-The Chevrolet Onix, a Brazilian subcompact

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24 Comments on “Chevrolet To Tease NAIAS With Forbidden Fruit...”

  • avatar

    Chevy has become a me too brand, usually arriving on the scene after some other brand creates a niche.

    No offense to Chevy fans, but nearly all of the above scream “nothing special goin on here” to me. I might be interested in the Orlando as an alternative to the Ford C-Max.

  • avatar

    I’m not going to NAIAS, but I would love to get a close-up look at a Sail, if only because it’s quite a big seller in its native land.

    • 0 avatar

      It was originally a Buick Sail, which makes sense — (see Marcelo’s comment below) it started as an Opel Corsa B (1993-2000).

    • 0 avatar

      Me, too. Not because I’m likely yo own one, but because I’m a car geek and I’m curious about China and how Chinese folks use cars.

      I’ve worked with a lot of people from China (and all over the world), but most of my Chinese colleagues seem to prefer to keep conversations on-topic – so I don’t know much about the cars that my friend’s cousin’s husband drives from his flat in the suburbs, or whatever.

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t the Spin be better described as “Brazilian compact minivan”, as Brazil is its country of origin? It’s rumored to be headed to Indonesia, but it hasn’t arrived yet, but I think it’s already been in production in Brazil. And it was engineered there anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      You’re right MrWhopee. I even wrote an article about the Spin for TTAC. I can just imagine the rolling eyes of NAmerican consumers at its uglyness (despite the fact that it serves a purpose and is relatively well priced for the segment in Brazil). Hs been selling very well here. I imagine it1’d do the smae in Indonesia. No idea why they’re showing it to Americans though. Don’t think they’d be a market for Spin or Onix in the US. THe Onix BTW is also lighting up the salescharts.

  • avatar

    So how many of those are Daewoo in origin?

    • 0 avatar

      The Spin, Onix and Trax I believe. They’re all SOnics under the skin. THe Sail I think is based on an Opel from the early 90s. It is known as the Classic in Brazil. Horrid car really. But the Onix and Spin hold out promise for the General. Both ride well, are comfortable and modern. Shame about the engine in the Spin in Brazil though. From the 80s at least.

      • 0 avatar

        AFAIK the Chinese Sail had a new generation in 2010, and it’s now based on the Opel Corsa D, but with the usual cost-cutting butchering though.

      • 0 avatar
        19 Pinkslips

        That’s right, those three are GM Gamma II based cars, though of different wheelbases. Looks like the Spin is most related to the (Brazilian) Chevy Cobalt. It has a ‘eco.flex’ 1.8 SOHC 108hp motor, is this the same thing we had in our old Pontiac Sunbirds in the states??

      • 0 avatar

        Hey Magnusmaster!

        I think you’re right (as usual). As a side note, there appears to be a debate going on at GM Brazil-Latin America. With VW launching up! and Fiat launching City (in 2 yrs), GM knows Classic and Celta can’t cut it anymore. Some defend keeping them as low cost (under 30k reais) alternative to above mentioned cars, others want (and are studying) the viability of such a thing as a “nationalized” Opel Adam! Seems a stretch though as all cars recently launched in Brazil come from the South Korean arm of GM. Looks like the Classic could be gone by the end of the year and Celta too (AYK in 2014 airbags become obligatory. Seems like it could be expensive to fit them in Classic and Celta as they are). This could be the final incentive for those old Opel Corsas to go.

        Hey pinkslips!

        I believe so. It’s the same enfine that pulled the Monza, Vectra, S10 literally countless Brazilian GMs for decades. I think some version or other of it was used in base American cars.

  • avatar

    I would also be interested in the Orlando. I wonder now that Ford is doubling down on the Transit Connect for 2014 if that might persuade Chevy to bring it down to us in the lower 48.

    • 0 avatar

      Chevy is having a hard time peddling these things in Canada. You’re not missing much. Apparently, not many people are interested in an unattractive, underpowered bread box with awkward proportions.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Show those non-US vehicles at Epcot center’s GM pavilion, not at the Detroit auto show, only cars available here should be shown.

  • avatar

    I’d suggest that they’re scoping reaction to at least one of those vehicles, under the cover of showing a wider selection. That would likely be the Trax, as it’s the only one which looks developed-market standard, and has an obvious place in their current line up. It’s also halfway there with federalisation thanks to the Encore.

    No knowledge implied, just my thoughts.

  • avatar

    Cheap cars are not for obsessive weirdos. Cheap cars are for people who want to avoid debt and free up cash flow for aspiration activities, like renting a Ferrari 458 and driving up the Pacific Coast on a two-week, sex-fueled, hedonistic romp with a new flame.

    Cheap cars are for people who refuse democratized ‘luxuries’, designed to make consumers comfortable in the mediocrity of an inconsequential existence.

  • avatar

    The Trax is dope.

  • avatar

    The cars I’d be interested in: Trax, Orlando and Onix.

    I can’t imagine it would work in our sales/marketing ecosystem (in the US), but it would be cool to have ALL of these cars for sale in the US. At least that way there would be very little overlap with Buick.

    My younger daughter could use something like the Onix. It appears to be cheap, simple and durable. Considering my younger one is far from mechanical, it would work well for her.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey geozinger! The Onix is turning out to be a fine car. Inside its a little better even than the competitors (here in BRazil that is) though there are some mishaps and careless assembly. On the outside the Onix has got to be the most succesful trasplant yet of the trucklike mug GM saw fit to graft onto its cars. Seems like in America the Spark would be your route.

      On the other hand, if the Ford EcoSport does make it to America, like some say it will, the Trax would be a by-gone conclusion. Maybe 2014 or 15?

      • 0 avatar

        Hello Marcelo! Thanks for the reply. You would be correct, here in the US the Spark would probably hold up to my younger daughter’s neglect AND be inexpensive enough for her to own, operate and insure. I think once my US spec Cavalier finally gives up (at 16 years and 255,000 miles/410,000 KM and lost of rust, it will soon!) that is the direction I will steer her in. Unless she has other plans…

        I do find the Onix interesting, at least without actually seeing it. It reminds me of the hatchbacks we used to get in the 80’s, and they had a great deal of utility and style to them. I guess I like two-box cars…

        I’d really like a small SUV or van, like the original Chrysler minivan, but here in the US we really don’t have anything quite like that anymore. The Trax and the Orlando come close. Since I’m close to Canada, maybe I can import one?

  • avatar

    Chevrolet: Bland Runs Deep.

    That’s all I see. Nothing special here.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey car guy! I’m no GMer myself, but at least in Brazil, these GMs have positively impressed me. Up until their launch, there was nothing ever in GM’s stable in my lifetime that I would recommend a friend. Now, I could recommend the Cobalt over a Versa, Siena, Voyage, Logan,Etios sedan I could recommend an Onix over a March, HB20, Palio, Gol, Fox, Fiesta, Etios, even the Spin (though I’d hesitate cause of engine) overs a lot of content against main competitors Nissan Livina, Fiat Idea, Honda Fit.

      Again, in Brazil, these new cars are head and shoulders above the 90s Opel things they forced on us until recently. Styling aside (I don’t mind the designs and think is better than current Fiats, VWs, Fords, Nissans and yes even Hyundai), the suspension is comfortable (heads and shoulders above Hyundai, seems like Koreans can do suspensions, specially if aided by Brazilians!), 1.4 engine is adequate for our market, 1.0s are fine and possibly the strongest out there (though theu pay a mpg penalty for that), pricing is little high but contents levels are better than competition, steering is good, gearboxes are ok (the autos are the best in Brazil, 6 speeds while at this level the few competitors that have it only offer 4 speeds, not counting the terribale automated things in VW, GM and Fiat).

      For the first time in my life, I can see myself in a Chevrolet.

  • avatar

    The Onix looks like the perfect vehicle for parts of the country that are urbanized and have major potholes. Its ground clearance looks like it would shame most CUVs.

    I don’t know if there is a trademark on it but GM has a “Slam” option package on the Vauxhall Adam. They could use it here. The marketers would love it. There is already music for it. I would buy an Onix Slam.

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