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In the wake of the Chevy Beat news that started pounding the wires before the 4th of July weekend, the Wall Street Journal reached out to Bob Lutz for some commentary on the topic. Lutz, in an email to the Journal, said, "We always thought we'd do it at some point, but now it obviously enjoys a much higher priority." Based on what the Journal says, this loosely translates to "the 2012 timeframe." Unfortunately for GM, this is a car that its U.S. operation needs approximately yesterday. It would behoove the brain trust in the RenCen to stop debating this and simply end all the speculation by formally announcing a U.S. Beat and attaching a timetable, already (as in, now). We think that the car's appearance as an Autobot in next summer's Transformers follow-up will help create enough public interest for that GM will be forced to make some sort declaration if they haven't by then already (TF2 opens on June 26, 2009).

As we've suggested, GM would probably do itself a big favor by greenlighting production versions of all three Triplet concepts, sending the Trax (also featured in TF2) and Groove to showrooms, too. The argument that Americans aren't into small cars/econocars/hatchbacks is quickly losing water, as automaker sales numbers would attest. There's a reason the Civic now outsells the F-150 and that the Hyundai Accent saw a 70% jump last month. Toyota isn't adding the 5-door Yaris to the U.S. lineup on a whim, either. Market forces, in the form of elevated fuel prices, are altering the landscape, and people are a lot more willing to look at (and buy) something smaller and more economical. It's just reality. The longer General Motors deliberates, the longer it's going to get beaten by competitors who have product ready to go right now. Don't wait for for the popcorn-chompers to play focus group and beg for these cars next summer. Grow a set and make the announcement now. Who would've thought that Michael Bay has a better vision of the future than the General itself? In his, GM's cool, stylish minicars will be on the streets next summer. We know that's not possible in real life, but GM needs embrace the fact that a market now exists in the United States for the Beat (and its siblings) and make the obvious call.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      Typical GM. Remember all the hoopla over these concepts and then nothing ever came of it? It's simply bizarre.

      Also count me a little less excited if Daewoo is put in charge of engineering these cars. Their work for GM from the Aveo to the fat VUE is as underwhelming as ever. I would like to think GM could engineer these cars better here and that they don't need to lean on Daewoo so much for small cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mr. Lutz needs to fast track this vehicle to production so that GM can have a chance to survive.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Typical GM; by the time they get this thing on the road it will be passe and irrelevant.
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's ok. The Fiesta( 40 MPG hwy?) should arrive in 14-17 months?

      Wish it were in late 2008.....

      • 6 Years Ago
      Great article/commentary Alex! If they brought it out now though I'd question what donor platform they would use. The Beat looks like its the same size as the Chevy Aveo, and the last time I checked that really isn't a motor heads dream. I agree though they should bring out all their smaller concept cars to the market. But besides bringing new cars out, they should make their smaller products more hospitable for those looking to downsize. Leather, heated seats, stability control, and oem nav would be a nice touch. I'd gladly trade in my larger car for something smaller but there aren't too many "up level" small cars out there.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I've always wanted a small luxurious American car but nobody makes one. When kids are gone, many couples want small cars. They are better on gas and easier to park.
      • 6 Years Ago
      ...Some of you people, are just...well dumber than hell, what else can I say? The WSJ throws a rock into a china shop and hits a random plate, and its "typical GM." If they released it tommorow most of you would chime in with however late they were to the party or how ugly it is or some such BS while - and here's the kicker -
      still ignoring that the first Aveo beat EVERYTHING in its class to the market. And yet they're the ones who are late? Give me a break!

      Then all these insinuations GM is turning a blind eye towards the gas problem. However, GM's got two hybrid systems, a hybrid vue, hybrid Aura, hybrid malibu, a 36mpg Cobalt (highest MPG this side of a Hybrid Civic), a 31mpg kappas and the even more efficient Cobalt SS with the same engine, and the 34mpg Aveo, which is a decent car regardless of what CR says, direct injection for more power and better fuel economy 3 different platforms. And you're all talking about what GM isn't doing about gas prices? Are you even paying attention anymore?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a no-brainer... Make the beat a Pontiac, the Groove a Chevrolet, and the Trax a... Saturn maybe? GMC? Another Chevrolet?

      You get the idea. You have all these brands, GM, start utilizing them!
      • 6 Years Ago
      you are kidding right? This is the ugliest POS I have ever seen. Just because gas prices are high doesn't mean people will buy ANYTHING which is small and sips fuel.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I just want to know how many people want to buy a second smart car or prius. I'd be willing to bet it's much lower than, say a MINI.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @jean "Just because gas prices are high doesn't mean people will buy ANYTHING which is small and sips fuel."

        yes they will. can you say ford focus?

        i agree it's fugly as hell! but i have never found anything GM makes to look good.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "i agree it's fugly as hell! but i have never found anything GM makes to look good."

        Say what?! You ignore the CTS, Corvette and Malibu, just to name a few. The General's offerings are well worth a trip to the show room.
      • 6 Years Ago
      By the time GM comes out with the Beat, Toyota might bring over the Aygo, Honda with the Life, Nissan with the March, or Mitsubishi with the i.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Or, GM could just go bankrupt, and then they won't have to be bothered with changing their car lineup to adapt to changing times.

      That seems to be their strategy. Sure, that's not what they're saying, but actions speak louder than words.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Uhm... It should have been out two years ago right along with the Yaris...
        • 6 Years Ago
        "The base 08 Yaris gets 29/36 while the base Corolla gets 28/37 according to fueleconomy.gov.

        The only real advantage of the Yaris is its initial purchase price."


        But when you get out into the real world, the Corolla gets about 29 and the Yaris 34. 0.3 engine liters and 496 pounds still makes quite a difference.
        • 6 Years Ago
        my wifes yaris gets 35 city and 46 highway. All the time not just sometimes, so I would say that is an advantage.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have an idea as to how GM can come with a good small car: Go buy a Honda Civic and give to their engineers and tell them to study it and then build one and slap a Chevy emblem on it. What the heck happened to good old American ingenuity? Lutz's compensation is worth $6,894,024 and this is all he can come up with! It sounds to me like everyone who has posted on this topic is worth more.
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