2009 NAIAS: The Beat Sparks On, and Orlando Comes to Town

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At the 2009 NAIAS, GM announced that in 2011, a production version of the global Beat minicar and the Orlando seven-seater will both join the U.S. lineup. The Beat, due for a Geneva show production introduction, will be called Spark for production. In the photos that follow, the white vehicle is the Orlando and the green the Beat (eventually to be renamed Spark.)

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Profitable or not, GM is bringing an international minicar to the States. While the Spark will reward drivers with terrific fuel economy, will the efficiency gains be enough to adapt to the small size?
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The Orlando brings an internationally sized seven-seater to the States. Orlando, introduced as a concept at the 2008 Paris auto show, will focus on moving people more than stuff. Its box shape will provide maximum cargo room for the footprint, but this will not be a vehicle measured by whether or not it can hold a sheet of drywall.
Follow the jump for more photos and Chevrolet’s official release.


Chevrolet Spark and Orlando Headed to the United States in 2011
DETROIT — An all-new Chevrolet Spark mini-car and Orlando seven-seat compact multi-purpose vehicle will come to the United States in 2011. The announcement was made during a General Motors press conference at the North American International Auto Show here today.
“Chevrolet Spark will bring great style, roominess and versatility to the segment of extremely fuel-efficient small cars in the U.S.,” said Troy Clarke, president of GM North America. “The decision to add the Spark to Chevrolet’s portfolio reflects the brand’s commitment to being a fuel efficiency leader in the industry.”

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Originally seen as the Chevrolet Beat concept at the 2007 New York Auto Show, the four-door Chevrolet Spark will provide versatility with a fresh, youthful exterior and interior design that is reflected in the selection of materials and colors.
The Spark will make its world debut in full production form at the Geneva Auto Show in March 2009. Sales begin in Europe in the first quarter of 2010, followed by other markets around the globe.
“The Chevrolet Orlando show car, unveiled at the recent Paris Auto Show to positive public reaction, combines the versatility of a sport-utility, a family van and a wagon in a single vehicle,” Clarke said. It has the added benefit of excellent fuel economy, because of its car-based architecture.”
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First photos and plans for the Chevrolet Orlando’s global rollout will be released in the coming months. It will be in Chevrolet showrooms in the U.S. in 2011.
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“These small vehicles make a big statement,” said Ed Peper, North America vice president, Chevrolet. “With their fresh, clean approach, we believe Spark and Orlando will appeal to a wide range of customers who want excellent fuel efficiency, functionality and style in a small vehicle.”

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