Over the weekend, GM Brazil released the first official image of its new B-segment small car, the Chevrolet Agile – which will only be sold in certain South American countries. According to the press release, the Agile has a new visual identity that will identify the Chevrolet brand globally. The new design language is highlighted by two front air inlets that are separated by a bar that is home to the bow tie Chevy logo (ala Malibu, Cruze).
The car was a joint development effort by GM’s Brazil Center for Vehicle Development (Sao Caetano do Sul) and Field Evidence of Cruz Alta (Sao Paulo). The Agile will also be sold in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, with manufacturing taking place in Argentina and Brazil.
For those keeping track, the Agile is built on the Gamma 2 platform, which is destined to underpin all small GM vehicles going forward. The platform was mostly developed by GM Daewoo and will carry over certain aspects from the Opel Corsa D. But fear not, the plastic “D-pillared” vehicle you see here is not The General’s B-segment replacement for the 2011 Chevy Aveo that debuts next year in the U.S. market. From what we hear, the next-gen Aveo will emulate the styling of its even smaller platform mate, the Chevy Spark. The Gamma 2 platform is not to be confused with the Delta 2, which underpins the Chevy Cobalt/Cruze, HHR, and Volt, among others.
It’s interesting to note GM’s strategy here: it will build two completely different B-segment cars – one for the North American market and the other for South/Latin American buyer. Even though these two cars will be built on the same Gamma 2 platform, why would GM go through designing two different vehicles that compete in the same segment? Obviously, GM won’t be able to take the utmost advantage of Economies of Scale by splitting up its manufacturing this way (read: the company won’t be able to save as much money by purchasing materials and manufacturing the same vehicle rather than two different ones). Contrast that to cross-town rival Ford, which will offer its very well-received Ford Fiesta globally with only minor modifications, and the move by GM appear to be inferior from a fiscal perspective.
Update: after some consideration, I’ve realized that the Latin American market Agile revealed here appears to have higher ground clearance than the proposed North American market Ford Fiesta. This leads me to believe that – maybe because of the road quality in Latin America (they aren’t as up kept and smooth as the ones we’ve been babied by in the U.S), a dual-market approach was necessary.[Source: General Motors Brazil]