New B-segment Chevy to be named Sonic

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Ford has brought a world car to market in its new Fiesta, being that it's the same basic car getting sold under the same name, but GM is taking a different route with its new subcompact. Rather than continue on with the Aveo name in North American, Canada, the U.S. and Mexico will get the a new global model dubbed Sonic while the rest of the world, which includes 50 additional countries, will use the old Aveo nameplate.

The news came down from on high at GM's tower in Detroit, and is due to the General wanting to start fresh at its bottom end in our market.

"The Sonic represents a new beginning for Chevrolet in the small car segment and so we felt it was time to give it a new name," said Chris Perry, GM's vice-president for Chevrolet U.S. marketing. "The new car is roomy, stylish and fun to drive, and Sonic is a youthful, energetic name that helps convey what this vehicle is about."

Chevy wants to see its most entry-level model's sales rise substantially for the 2012 model year when the new Sonic debuts. Last month Nissan sold more than twice as many Versa subcompacts in the U.S., whereas Honda moved almost a thousand more Fits. Even Ford, with an all-new relatively unheard of model, which is getting a lot of advertising and is a very good car, mind you, is besting the Aveo on the sales charts, so maybe it's time to put some supersonic speed behind Chevy's small car sales.

The Sonic will start production in 2011 at GM's Orion Assembly Center in Michigan, where the United Auto Workers (UAW) union took the unprecedented action to allow multiple-tiered wages (read lower wages for new hires) in order for GM to build a small car that makes a small profit, or at least breaks even, rather than sending small car production overseas as is the case with most automakers.

GM says its Orion plant will receive "a $545-million investment in upgrades and retooling, and will help restore approximately 1,000 jobs in the metropolitan Detroit area."
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Hatchback, Chevrolet, 2012, Sonic, Subcompact,

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