'Spark' Ignites GM Sales in China

General Motors lost its place as the world's No. 1 carmaker. But it's now the biggest carmaker in China thanks to its minicar, the Chevy Spark. That car is so popular in China that even the test drive cars sold out this month.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

For evidence of why Chrysler's German parent decided to sell it off, it might be best to look east of Detroit or Stuttgart. Our last word in business today is Shanghai, the world's fastest-growing car market.

General Motors lost its place as the world's number one carmaker. But it's now the biggest carmaker in China. GM's mini-car, the Chevy Spark, is so popular in China that even the test drive cars sold out this month.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Got to tell you that Chrysler has not done so well in the Chinese market, but at least Chrysler is not being copied by Chinese automakers - if that's a good thing.

The biggest competition for GM's Chevys in China is not a car made in Detroit. It's a Chinese company called Chery. That's spelled just like Chevy, except with an R, not a V. Chery's entry-level car outsells the Chevy Spark by four to one.

And this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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