Continuing its march to provide small, fuel-efficient, yet fun cars for the global automotive market, General Motors South Africa will begin building the new Chevrolet Spark at its Struandale Plant in Port Elizabeth beginning in 2012.
The Spark will join the Chevrolet Corsa Utility as well as the Isuzu KB at Struandale during the first quarter of 2012. The tiny hatch was launched in South Africa in August and is currently imported from Korea.
The Struandale-built Spark will initially be destined for Australia, New Zealand, as well as other right-hand drive Asia Pacific markets, with the production decision calling for a $144 million investment in the Struandale plant and creating 500 new jobs, with about 15,000 Sparks coming out of GM South Africa per year. Around half of these will be destined for export markets.
According to Edgar Lourencon, President and Managing Director of GM Africa, the Spark is getting some traction in the South African market, with customers having placed more than 1,800 orders during the first month of sales. “We therefore have no doubt that the new Spark is going to be a volume player here,” said Lourencon.