GM Holden could be considering an even smaller Korean sourced car than the Barina, following the release by subsidiary GM Daewoo of its Matiz Creative, sub-light segment vehicle.
The Matiz Creative was launched in South Korea this week and billed as a global mini car that would be sold in more than 150 markets around the world including those in Europe, Asia and North America.
There’s every reason to expect that one of those markets will be right here in Australia and sources in Holden have indicated that the car could be wearing a Lion badge in the not to distant future.
The official word to CarAdvice, from Holden spokesperson Kate Lonsdale, is that the car is under consideration but no decision has yet been made on importing it into Australia.
“We are certainly looking at it but the business case has yet to be done, and no decision will be made until that is complete,” she said.
“The Matiz is an exciting car and the sub-light segment is one in which we currently do not operate,” Ms Lonsdale said.
She said Holden was aware that this was a developing market in Australia, with the Suzuki Alto currently being the major, and most recent entrant. Hyundai is also set to enter the market in the next few months when it launches it i10 car.
“The Matiz Creative is an all-new mini-car developed at GM Daewoo, the global vehicle development centre for GM’s mini and small cars,” said Michael Grimaldi, President and CEO of GM Daewoo, at the vehicles launch.
“With its best-in-segment design, performance and safety, the new mini is destined to become an industry benchmark and a winner among consumers in Korea and around the world.”
Based on GM’s global mini-vehicle architecture, it took 27 months to develop the Matiz Creative, and A$285 million (KRW 295 billion) has been invested in the vehicle’s development.
GM Daewoo says that to meet the highest quality and performance standards in the most sophisticated markets, the global vehicle was put through more than one million kilometres of intensive durability tests, extreme weather tests, and crash tests both at home and abroad.
Besides driver, front passenger and side air bags, the Matiz Creative also offers first-in-segment curtain air bags mounted on the roof rails to protect both front and back seat occupants.
A four-channel/four-sensor EBD-ABS system reduces braking distance and helps prevent skidding and rollover. Other safety highlights include seatbelt pre-tensioners, shock-sensitive door locks and rear parking assist sensors with a broad range.
The Matiz Creative’s roomy proportions and dynamic styling are courtesy of its segment-leading length of 3595mm, height of 1520mm, wheelbase of 2375mm, and width of 1595mm combined with its “body-in/wheels-out” stance.
Powering the Matiz is a newly developed S-TEC II engine, a four-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC engine with a displacement of one litre, which is claimed to deliver great performance and fuel economy.
Mated with the efficient S-TEC-II engine is a four-speed automatic transmission and the car returns fuel efficiency of 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres.
GM Daewoo says that the Matiz Creative features an array of premium comfort and convenience amenities that one would expect in more expensive vehicles, but just what would be included in an Australian spec vehicle is open to speculation.
The Korean version gets: heated windshield wipers, roof rack, heated automatic outside mirror, speed-sensitive automatic door locks, tilt steering and a driver’s seat armrest, a particle filter for a pleasant dust-free interior, 60:40 folding seats, a wireless remote start key, various storage places and a tire sealant compressor kit, which obviously indicated the car does not have a spare wheel.