Earlier this month, we brought attention to the fact that GM manual transmissions are currently sold in just two models here in the U.S., namely the Chevrolet Spark and the Chevrolet Camaro. However, looking at the five biggest markets in South America, we find the situation is much, much different.
Indeed, GM manual transmissions are plentiful in South America, with upwards of nine different models offering a stick shift, depending on the market. Chile has the most, with the following models offering three pedals:
- Chevrolet Beat (second-gen Chevrolet Spark)
- Chevrolet Captiva
- Chevrolet Cavalier
- Chevrolet Joy / Chevrolet Onix (old) / Chevrolet Prisma
- Chevrolet N400
- Chevrolet S10 / Chevrolet D-Max / Chevrolet Colorado
- Chevrolet Sail
- Chevrolet Spin
- Chevrolet Tracker (sold in North America as Chevrolet Trax)
Meanwhile, Ecuador offers 8 models with a manual, Brazil and Argentina both offer seven, and Colombia offers six.
The various GM manual transmissions on offer include both five-speed and six-speed units.
|Beat (Second-Gen Spark)||Model not available||Model not available||M5||M5||M5|
|Blazer||Model not available||Model not available||Automatic||Automatic||Automatic|
|Bolt EV||Model not available||Automatic||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available|
|Camaro||Automatic||Automatic||Automatic||Model not available||Automatic|
|Captiva||Model not available||Model not available||Automatic||M6||M6|
|Cavalier||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available||M5||M5|
|Cruze||M6||M6||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available|
|Joy / Old Onix / Prisma||M5||M6||M5||Model not available||M5|
|Montana||M5||M5||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available|
|N300||Model not available||Model not available||M5||M5||Model not available|
|N400||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available||M5|
|Onix / New Onix||M5||M6||M5||M5||Model not available|
|S10 / D-Max / Colorado||M6||M6||M6||M5||M6|
|Sail||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available||M5||M5|
|Silverado||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available||Automatic|
|Spin||M5||M6||Model not available||Model not available||M5|
|Suburban||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available||Automatic|
|Tahoe||Model not available||Model not available||Automatic||Automatic||Automatic|
|Tracker (American Trax)||M5||Model not available||M5||M5||M5|
|New Tracker||Model not available||M6||Model not available||Model not available||Model not available|
|Trailblazer BOF SUV||Automatic||Automatic||Automatic||Automatic||Automatic|
|Traverse||Model not available||Model not available||Automatic||Model not available||Automatic|
- M5 = five-speed manual, M6 = six-speed manual
Looking over the list, there are a few interesting tidbits worth pointing out. For example, in those South American markets that offer the Chevrolet Camaro, the sports car is only offered with an automatic transmission.
This may seem odd to U.S. readers, given our natural association between the Camaro and GM manual transmissions. After all, who doesn’t want to row their own in a Chevy-branded sports car?
Well, as it turns out, customer perceptions of a stick shift are different in South America. Whereas U.S. buyers tend to associate manual transmissions with performance, South American buyers associate manuals with lower-class, basic equipment, the sort of thing one would buy because it’s cheap. At the same time, buyers in those markets also see automatic transmissions as sporty, cool, and high-class, an association underlined by the fact that upper end models are typically the only models to offer an automatic transmission, as is the case with the Camaro.