We told you recently about a car looking very much like last year's Chevy Beat
concept being spotted testing in China. We still don't know if that car was actually a GM
prototype or copy from one of the countless Chinese automakers
who have no qualms about using the design departments of other, more established automakers to produce their wares. However, earlier this week Automotive news reported that GM is actively working through their Chinese operations to develop a much lower cost car for developing markets. While the Tata Nano
is obviously a stimulus to develop a cheap entry level product, GM is apparently unlikely to go quite as cheap as Tata's
$2,500 entry price. The current Chevy Spark
(the "design" inspiration for the Chery QQ) sells for $5,650 in China right now and engineers at SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile Co. have been tasked with cutting the production cost of the next generation model by half. That car, built on the same Global minicar platform, as the Beat is expected to debut in late 2009.
[Source: Automotive News - Sub. req'd