Over half a decade ago, the European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) performed its series of crash tests on the 2005 “Chevy” Matiz. We put Chevy in quotes because the Matiz, which was subsequently replaced by the new global Spark in most markets, was one of the final (abominable) creations of Daewoo, right before the bankrupt South Korean automaker was acquired by The General.
Suffice to say that the Chevy-badged Daewoo didn’t do so well in the tests, earning some low scores.
Euro NCAP had the following observations to make about the diminutive city car:
The deflection of the passenger dummy’s chest due to seat belt loading was greater than the driver’s and was used in the calculation of the adult occupant score. Structures within the knee-impact area represented potential hazards to the knees and femurs of both the driver and the passenger. The protection offered to the driver’s lower legs was weak.
Compression of the driver’s chest in side impact represented an unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury. As a result, the final star of the adult occupant rating is struck through.
A rearward-facing childseat should not be placed in the front passenger’s seat as there is no way to deactivate the airbag in that seating position. The labels warning against doing this did meet Euro NCAP’s requirments. The ISOFIX anchorages in the rear outboard seats were not sufficiently well marked to meet Euro NCAP’s requirements.
The bumper scored no points for the protection it offers to pedestrians.
The GM Authority Take
So, why is it that we’re showing you an eight-year-old crash test for a car that today is only sold in India? Because its existence under the Chevrolet brand exemplifies what is wrong with the Old GM: did anyone at Daewoo, and more importantly, at GM, actually expect people to buy and then drive this car? Because if we were making an actual vehicle, the last words we would want associated with our product following crash safety tests are “weak”, “unacceptable, and “not sufficient”.
The bottom line is that The General should have never put Chevy’s name on this piece of garbage, and should have never introduced it to Europe, furnishing us with the impression that rebadging lackluster Daewoo products hurt The Bow Tie brand’s reputation so bad, that it couldn’t be fixed with even significantly better products like the Cruze, new Aveo, Captiva, and Malibu. And the result is that horrible product like the Matiz led GM to withdraw Chevy from Europe altogether. Because it most certainly didn’t help the brand.