The Chevrolet Spark recently received a minor facelift but it appears the model could be living on borrowed time.
According to Reuters, GM Korea has suggested the Spark could be dropped and replaced by a crossover. The elimination of the Spark could have major implications as reports have also suggested the Chevrolet Sonic could be dropped later this year. If both models were to be phased out, Chevrolet’s entry-level sedan would be the Cruze which starts at $16,975. This would be a significant jump from the Spark which begins at $13,050.
Of course, Spark sales have been lackluster as Carsalesbase data shows the company only sold 22,589 units in the United States last year. Even in its best year, the Spark was only able to find 39,159 buyers in America.
General Motor’s decision to sell Opel and Vauxhall to Groupe PSA also appears to be another strike against the model. In Europe, the Spark is sold as the Opel Karl and Vauxhall Viva. However, the companies have already announced plans to significantly cut imports from South Korea.
Given the low volume and bleak future, it’s not surprising that General Motors would be considering replacing the Spark with a crossover which would likely be more popular with consumers. Little is known about the model but the report suggests the crossover could go into production in 2022. However, this is conditional on union concessions and support from the South Korean government.
It remains to be seen if a deal can be struck as tensions between GM Korea and its union have been running high since last year. GM has already announced plans to close the underutilized Gunsan plant and has been seeking additional concessions from workers under the threat of bankruptcy. Things boiled over last week as several workers stormed GM Korea’s executive offices in what the automaker described as a “violent incident” that “resulted in significant damage to company property.”