In years prior, Chevrolet was never really recognized for its small cars. The compact car segment was mostly occupied by brands like Toyota and Honda, but thanks to the Sonic and Spark, Chevy’s making a gain on the competition.
According to an Automotive News report, Chevrolet is currently outselling Toyota, Honda, Ford and Hyundai in the subcompact market, thanks to the surprising success of the Spark. Chevy managed to move 34,130 units in 2013, the car’s first full year on the market, which blew analysts expectations of 27,000 units out of the water.
Also important is that the Spark and Sonic don’t overlap and aren’t robbing sales from one another. The Spark is a simple city runabout, while the Sonic is the larger, more powerful and more luxurious option. This allows the discounts and incentives on the Sonic to remain minimal, as customers who want to pay less can be directed towards the $12,995 Spark. As a result, the Sonic currently has the second-highest average transaction price in its segment, behind the Kia Soul.
But what’s attracting compact car-buying consumers to the Chevrolet lot in the first place? Analysts told AN the Spark’s 7-inch touch screen and MyLink infotainment system are crucial the car’s appeal, as it’s rare to find a similar system on a sub 15k vehicle. The Sonic and Spark are also both mostly bought by young, city-dwelling folk. For both, about one third of the average buyer is younger than 44 years old. The models also have relatively high percentages of female buyers, with the Spark and Sonic having 50 and 48 percent female owners, respectively.
Chevy will face increased competition in the subcompact segment as more and more car buyers look for cheaper, more efficient vehicles. It’s actively improving on its small car lineup, with the Trax CUV soon to be unleashed on the American market and development of the next-generation Sonic and Spark currently underway.