In an effort to win back buyers deterred by record fuel prices, General Motors Corp. may begin selling a mini-car, according to Newsday.
It’s a noticeable shift for GM, which popularized the 7,800-pound Hummer. GM may bring the production version of the Chevrolet Beat to the United States. The Beat gets as much as 40 miles per gallon, a U.S. fuel efficiency topped only by hybrids.
John Wolkonowicz, an analyst at Global Insight Inc. in Lexington, Mass. said GM has no choice but to make the change because he said there has never been as rapid a shift in consumer demand in the history of the auto industry.
The Beat, a front-wheel-drive, three-door hatchback powered by a 1.2-liter turbocharged gasoline engine, is 138 inches in length, the size of a Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris.
The car is more than a foot shorter than anything else GM markets in the United States. The Beat is normally reserved for markets such as Asia and Latin America, according to Newsday.