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New Chev a Spark with fresh traits

WHEN General Motors called everybody to the launch of the new Chevrolet Spark, I obliged. Unlike the old Spark, the new car has been upgraded. It now has a number of latest technological and entertainment features to make life easy in the 21st century.

General Motors, the owners of Chevrolet, said the new Spark was designed with customers in mind.

The Spark is entering a tough market where the likes of Polo Vivo and the newly launched Ford Figo are competing.

Things are not looking good for the new kid from the other side of the Atlantic, but its makers are confident she will make it. Chevrolet brand manager for SA Tim Hendon says the car is a good package, if not perfect.

Responding to a question about the exposed screws on the side of the driver's seat, Hendon said the consumers would have to bear the cost to have the covers, which he said cost R1000 each.

But, he was quick to assure customers that his company was already working on improvements for the facelift, which normally takes place after three years.

Entering the Spark, one immediately notices the change and fresh look of the car.

It is modern and appeals to the eye. The manufacturer said customers who cannot afford the new model should not feel left out because the old Spark would still be available.

"As we announced early in June, the existing Spark models will remain available in the South African market as the Spark Lite L and Spark Lite LS," said Malcolm Gauld, vice president of GMSA sales and marketing.

These two models compete in the sub-R100000 market and offer new vehicle buyers at the entry level a very affordable first step into the Chevrolet family.

The all-new Spark, with its edgy design, joins the Chevrolet range as an up-to-the minute trendy urban transport solution with a premium specification and a number of segment leading features.

Both the Spark L and LS models are powered by the 1,2-litre petrol engine with a power output of 60kW.

The rear seat offers a 60-40 fold-down split to provide a versatile increase in available luggage space.

Additional storage is provided in the form of a centre console with dual cup holders and storage bin for small items such as cellphones. Both front doors have storage pockets incorporating bottle holders.

Standard features in the Spark L include power steering, air conditioner, radio-CD player with MP3 compatibility, and driver and passenger airbags.

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