The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic subcompact just going into production this month is the smallest car sold by Chevrolet in the U.S., but the bowtie brand isn't finished downsizing yet.
Today, General Motors confirmed that the Chevrolet Spark minicar will be sold in the U.S. GM's executive director of North American product communications, Jason Laird, confirmed with GreenCarReports that it would arrive "next year," with a launch during the first half (January to June) as a 2013 model.
In January 2009, before its bankruptcy and government-backed refinancing, GM had announced that the Spark would be sold in the U.S. in 2011--along with the Chevrolet Orlando small minivan, which was subsequently dropped from the U.S. product plan. Restructuring thus delayed the Spark's arrival roughly a year.
The Spark is the smallest car ever sold as a Chevy, with its roots in a trio of minicar concepts shown way back in 2007. The tiny five-door Spark hatchback is now on sale in a number of Asian countries, and has been an important model for Chevrolet in the global minicar segment, where the brand has had only a minor presence until now.
It is fitted with a variety of engines, starting with a 1.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Laird tweeted from the Management Briefing Seminar conference in Traverse City, Michigan, that GM product chief Mark Reuss said the "Spark minicar will give Chevrolet A-B-C-D-E segment coverage for first time in [the] U.S."
In world auto-industry terminology, the Chevrolet Spark is considered an A-segment, or minicar, vehicle.
The Sonic is B-segment, or subcompact; the Cruze is C-segment, or compact; the Malibu is D-segment, or U.S. mid-size; and the Impala is E-segment, or full-size.