• Dec 3, 2007
General Motors' European arm has decided that it won't jump feet-first into the micro-car segment with Smart, and more recently Toyota and Volkswagen. Speaking with Automotive News Europe, GM's Euro-veep Carl-Peter Forster said that, "These specialized urban vehicles have a limited market." True enough, but it's a market that stands to go through a growth spurt in the coming years, and GM's decision to opt out of providing a competitive product might be a shortsighted move.

That said, GM already sells the Chevy-branded, Korean-built Matiz abroad, which – to a certain extent – already fills that niche. But with the Toyota iQ expected to sell 80,000 units in Europe in 2009 and VW's up! coming the following year, the Opel Trixx concept (pictured) that originally debuted in Geneva in '04 might look like an appealing product if sales of the iQ and up! go through the roof.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req'd]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's a surprise.

      If they can't get you to buy a 12mpg SUV, they don't want your business.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What part of "General Motors' (fixed it for Damon) European arm" don't you douchebags understand?

      And S: Perhaps you'd like a Sequoia.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Gm Just doesnt get it, They will be late for this party too, I like the look of htis Opel.

      Daewoo are small cars but not so economical, Why not rename the Suzuki Swift as a Chevy or Saturn and sell it in the USA, thats a quality car that could compete with the Mini for sales for a lot less money.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A Sequoia is no better, but that is one full size, poor mileage ute up against GM's 12 full size guzzlers.

      Doesn't matter, has nothing to do with GM avoiding the micro car market. Only proves that GM is still a "truck company" and has no interest in efficient cars Their cars, even their hybrids are back of the pack mileage-wise. Heck, Edmunds got 21mpg on their Saturn Aura hybrid, worse than the base XE V6!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Need I add: GM can't afford the cost of R&D (new platform, drivetrain (it wouldn't be a microcar on Gamma) and I don't think it would be worth it (see again: Smart).
        • 7 Years Ago
        ... Get with the times, those 2-modes are anything but inefficient. Of course the older system they're using in the Aura and Malibu isn't exactly on par with Toyota's Hybrid offerings, but they're a lot more cheaper as well. A Malibu hybrid would itself more quickly than a Camry. Speaking of which, you guys seem to have no difficulty ruining your mileage numbers with 4-cylinder GMs for whatever reason (fix your damn lead foot, I get 37MPG average in an Aveo (auto) and I do mostly city driving).

        Just because GM Europe doesn't see the point of making microcars (need I remind you that the Smart is still an unprofitable adventure and has been for years) doesn't mean they're against efficiency. Of course there's work to do and models to be updated, but GM is offering what the market wants, and in North America, Americans enjoy utility vehicles. I think GM sold only 30 000 or so Aveos in 2006 (they lead in subcompact sales) in the US.

        Either way, GM Europe doesn't exactly concentrate on SUV sales, so this is irrelevant.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Vue's themselves have been sub par reliability wise. Recalls for wheels falling off, recalls for CVT transmissions, overall quality issues.

      "GM has been using their system in Buses that consume lot of fuel for years and have adapted it to cars...did you know that."

      Thanks for the reminder, I'll keep one of those buses in mind when I go shopping for my next car :)

      "No because you are focused on up lifting Toyota."

      Toyota leads the hybrid game, has been winning that one for years. I don't know who else besides Honda you could compare GM's hybrid work to? It's not about "lifting Toyota" whatever the freak that menas, it's about GM playing catchup yet again. Their hybrids have been pisspoor so far, lets not try and predict something that isn't out yet as being any better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Considering that their two-mode products aren't even out, it's a little ridiculous proclaiming how much better the GM system is when you could have bought a Toyota hybrid 6 years ago in the US and 10 years ago in Japan.
      And if you weren't blinded by fanboyism, you'd know that the Vue mild hybrid has had nightmarish reliability issues with the hybrid system-if the two mode hybrid is anywhere near as buggy as the mild hybrid then GM is looking at a PR nightmare.