The signs aren't good, as the Australian model gets the chop Down Under.
General Motors' Australian subsidiary Holden has made the decision to axe its version of the Chevrolet Spark from its lineup after just two years on sale in the country. According to Australia's GoAuto, Holden made the decision to drop the Spark city car due to slumping sales and a crowded lineup at the bottom of the model range. The car started at the equivalent of $10,600 USD in Australia, but even its budget pricing couldn't save it in the market.
“Holden has recently made the decision to remove Spark from its line-up to continue to better meet customer tastes,” Holden senior manager of product and brand communications Mark Flintoft told GoAuto. The Australian outlet explained the next model up from the Spark, the Holden Barina (known here as the Sonic), sells in the country for the equivalent of just $780 USD more than the now discontinued model. News that another small car would be killed off in a time when truck, SUV, and crossover popularity are at an all-time high is not surprising. Sonic is similarly rumored to leave the US market.
The Spark is built for global export markets by GM Korea, another GM subsidiary that has had its own troubles as of late. After GM's decision to pull the Chevrolet brand out of Europe, the Korean unit experienced a significant drop in orders for cars built in its plants. Holden's decision to rid itself of another Korean-built model will put further pressure on GM Korea, though the Spark's lack of popularity might be the silver lining in a very dark cloud. The Australian division sold just 1,227 during the entirety of last year. For comparison, Chevrolet sold 22,589 Sparks in the United States and another 3,982 in Canada during the same period.