General Motors revealed the Matiz Creative mini-car last week ahead of its Korean release on September 1. The automaker developed the Matiz Creative within its Daewoo Auto & Technology division to ensure a smooth rollout in Asia. The Matiz Creative is the culmination of $236 million in investments by GM Daewoo including extensive safety testing and 620,000 miles of performance testing. After the September 1 launch in South Korea, GM Daewoo will unleash the Matiz Creative throughout the world to steal market share from Toyota.
The Matiz Creative features a four-speed auto transmission along with a four-cylinder, 69 horsepower S-TEC II Engine. This mini-car is projected to reach 40 miles per gallon thanks to multiple upgrades to the exhaust system and engine in the company’s past drive trains. The Port De-Activation system reuses exhaust gas to ensure smooth combustion within the engine, thereby reducing emissions and increasing mileage. The Matiz Creative engine features a temperature control unit to regulate temperature during acceleration and deceleration.
GM Daewoo went beyond expectations to make the Matiz Creative safe for the road in any country. The Matiz Creative features a body-frame integral system with front-end crash boxes and ultra-high strength steel beams to protect passengers. GM Daewoo installed curtain air bags in the front and rear roof area to complement driver, passenger and side curtain airbags. The automaker’s EBD-ABS unit uses sensors to provide skid control and anticipate road obstacles to prevent accidents. GM Daewoo anticipates positive ratings from the Research Council for Automotive Repairs and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests based on these features.
The Matiz Creative is a great entry point into the mini-car market for GM Daewoo with South Korea a natural outlet. If the Matiz Creative is a success in South Korea, Asian and European consumers will flip for its diminutive size and outstanding fuel mileage. GM is emerging quickly from its bankruptcy with greener vehicles like the Chevy Volt and an unnamed Buick plug-in crossover. The Matiz Creative is not a hybrid vehicle but it shows that GM is getting hip to what consumers around the world want from their vehicles. While the aforementioned R&D costs seem exorbitant for what amounts to GM version of the Toyota Yaris, the Matiz Creative is a key to smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles by the automaker in the future.