In 2005 the new Matiz is expected to rise the Chevrolet's market to 6.5 percent (1.2 million units) and in 2006 to 7.5 percent (1.4 million).
However, with such qualities like a favorable price, optimized engineering, fresh design, clever utilization of space, the Matiz will surely help to the market growth, assuring this way a continuous success. The success is also attested by market surveys among other car drivers. At so-called 'car clinics' in Germany, Italy and Poland, drivers spoke very positively of the Chevrolet Matiz after an initial meeting with the new model. Especially the cool styling and compact dimensions, the engine hood with its large headlamps, the striking tail lights and the visible gauges that are positioned at the centre of the dashboard have been admired by car drivers. Due to thes words of encouragement, Chevrolet's team is expecting increases up to 80,000 - 90,000.
Launched in 1998, the modern city car with the loveable look is now being sold in more than 70 countries.Being a very practical car - standard five doors, much roominess for a car of its class, the good entry-level price and a warranty of three years - Matiz gained much popularity worldwide. 630,000 units have been sold in Europe alone.
This means that the Matiz accounts for 32 percent of the European sales of the Korean built products that have been marketed under General Motors' globally successful Chevrolet brand since the beginning of the year. In the peak years of 2001 and 2002, the figure was even higher, namely 51 and 65 percent respectively.
In Europe, Italy bought the biggest numbers of cars - 21,600 - out of a total European figure of 57,900. Behind Italy came the UK (6,370), Spain (5,600), Germany (5,060), Hungary (3,920) and the Netherlands (3,300). 62 percent of the buyers opted for the three-cylinder, 796 cm³ gasoline engine with 38 kW/52 bhp, while the other 38 percent chose the four-cylinder 1.0-litre engine with 49 kW/66 bhp.
In most European countries, Chevrolet's smallest model is driven primarily in urban areas, since it is a model that is compact and easy to manouever. It is a car the most of the buyers see as a day-to-day vehicle. On average, its owners drive about 12,500 km a year.
The Matiz is available worldwide under various brands and model names. Western Europe knows it under the name of Chevrolet Matiz, Central and Eastern Europe and South Africa know it as Chevrolet Spark. In Mexico, on the other hand, it is called the Pontiac Matiz, and in its Korean homeland and in Vietnam, it has retained its old name, the Daewoo Matiz. In Pakistan, on the other hand, it bears the name Chevrolet Exclusive.
It is obvious that Matiz improves more and more its name on the market. Currently, it ranks number five in the segments across Europe and in some countries like Macedonia ,where it was no. 1 in 2004 with a market share of 67 %, Lithuania (46%) and Finland (25%).
According to the experts at Chevrolet's European headquarters in Zurich, Matiz is popular with both younger and older customers. Media & Marketing Services Manager Cindy Davies: "Our figures show quite clearly that two groups dominate here: the 30 - 44 year-olds and the 49 - 59 year-olds." In Spain, for example, the younger age group accounts for 53 percent and in Germany and Switzerland for 46 percent of all Matiz customers. In the UK and France, on the other hand, the older age group dominates with 33 and 32 percent respectively.
However, Matiz is used intensively (more than 50%) as a second car of the family in countries like Italy, Germany and Spain, while in Hungary, it is the only car for 75 percent of its owners. In the UK, too, this group holds the majority with 39 percent.
The ideal family companion, offering a practicable usage of space and versatility, the new Matiz is driven more by women. It is ideal for taking children to school, going out to the theatre and grabbing a parking place. With its exterior length of 3,495 mm (width: 1,495 mm, height/including the roof rack which is standard, depending on trim and country specifications: 1,500/1,518 mm) and its small turning circle of 9.20 m, it fits into any parking space. The trunk volume is 170 litres according to the VDA standard. The contents of the trunk are protected from inquisitive eyes by a sturdy cover that also offers additional storage possibilities. Matiz also impresses with its "smiling face", a reason why it is preferred by women. Matiz has also a wealth storage possibility. Depending on the country and the equipment variant, there are two large compartments below the cockpit and the glove compartment, a tray under the passenger seat, three trays and two cup holders in the front and one cup holder in the rear of the floor center console, and a map compartment and bottle holder in the lining of both front doors.
Still, the new model kept some of the last model features. The large round headlamps with the integrated indicators, for example, have been intentionally maintained, and at the back, too, the new Matiz underlines its loveable appearance with its strikingly large circular tail lamps.
A new sportiness is underlined by the combination of the robust bumper and the large air intake that communicate. Its overall appearance is governed predominantly by the marked wedge form with short body overhangs. The powerful look is underlined by the marked profile of the engine hood. In addition, the steel surfaces continuing through to the front side windows provide an unusual and harmonious link to the side profile.
As for the interior, the main feature of Matiz is the cockpit divided into two main sections. In the driver's direct line of view, there is a semi-circular set of displays incorporating the control and warning lights. The instrument panel is located in the dashboard. The instrument panel I slightly raised and has classic-style analogue displays, easily visible to all Matiz passengers. They provide information on rpm, speed and fuel level. The kilometre reading and time are displayed in digital form. Three different background colours give the instruments a fresh, young look. The displays have a blue, green or orange background.
The new Chevrolet Matiz is available in three equipment versions: S, SE and SX. Even the entry model has a large number of passive safety features like driver airbag, ABS, knee padding and three-point belts on all the seats. In some countries, it also has a passenger and side airbag. The standard equipment on all models includes useful details such as electrically operated windows at the front, and central locking with remote control (model specific). Some models also include comfort features like air-conditioning, audio systems with single CD player and up to six speakers, electrically operated rear windows and an electrically adjustable exterior mirror on the passenger side.
Even if it is small, that does not mean that it is not technically sophisticated. The second Matiz generation with its array of reliable and durable technical details provides clear proof of this. The increased use of high-strength grades of steel in the bodywork, two lively gasoline engines with much reduced fuel consumption, and a safe, agile chassis with a newly developed torsion beam rear axle are best examples. The body is made of lightweight steel. Actually, 51 percent (of the total weight) of the body of the new Chevrolet Matiz is made of HSS (high-strength steel). With its predecessor, the figure was just 37 percent. It also brings a significant reduction in the weight of the bodyshell, which at 172 kg is actually 13 kg less than that of its predecessor.The increased percentage of the steel guarantees the safety of the passenger cell. In case of a head-on rear collision, precisely defined load paths with an energy absorbing hexagonal profile protect the passenger. The passenger is also protected by optimised links between the B-pillar and the sills provide additional in case of a side impact.
There is also a full interior safety package to complement the passive safety features of the new Matiz generation. Depending on the country and equipment variant, this includes a driver airbag with a volume of 50 litres, a passenger airbag (100 litres) and side airbags in both the front seats (18 litres). Automatic three-point belts and head restraints on all five seats and electrically operated belt tensioners and belt force limiters at the front are other safety system components.
The new Matiz also has a torque roll-axis engine mounting system which uses three instead of four mountings. This contributes to a total weight reduction of 5.3 kg and much improved engine shake at higher engine speeds.
Like its predecessor, the new Matiz is powered by one of two powerful 0.8 and 1.0 litre engines, both of which are classed as 'low pollution' according to the Euro 4 standard. Both power units come with a five-speed manual transmission as standard.
The entry level engine is the proven 796 cm³ three-cylinder gasoline engine with 38 kW/52 bhp and a maximum torque of 71.5 Nm at 4,400 rpm. It takes the five-door Matiz from 0 to 100 km/h in 18.2 sec and gives it a top speed of 145 km/h. The 1.0 litre four-cylinder engine has a top speed of 156 km/h and an output of 49 kW/66 bhp. It develops its maximum torque of 91 Nm at 4,200 rpm, allowing the front-wheel drive car to complete the 0 - 100 sprint in 14.1 sec.
The new Matiz will be built at the modern production facilities on the GM Daewoo site in Changwon, a town in the south of the Korean peninsula. The plans are that the 3,200-strong workforce will build, in addition to the company's other models, around 200,000 Matiz a year for the domestic market and for export to over 70 countries.
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