The Beat happened for Chevrolet in India before the hype for compact SUVs kicked in. It was the time when the Hatchback segment was the hottest category of cars and attracted the most customers. Cars like the Maruti Swift was selling like hotcakes. So the introduction of the Beat for Chevrolet’s India lineup couldn’t have asked for a better timing when it was launch in 2010. Chevrolet’s Indian portfolio was rather bleak before the Beat. So a strong contender in the high-grossing hatchback segment was much needed for Chevrolet to keep their head above the water.
The Beat did more than just bringing Chevrolet India back up to the pace, it turned out to be their most successful car ever in the Indian car market.
Way before the arrival of the Chevrolet Beat
GM motors have a lot of their cars being shared as rebadged models having a lot of alliances with other auto manufacturers around the globe. The Chevrolet Beat is one of those cars. Tracing the whereabouts of the Beat’s origin is a bit tricky especially from the Indian car markets perspective. The cars which the Beat succeeded in the international markets were sold with different names and also under different brands in India. The Beat itself goes by a different name in the International markets, a name which was used by a different Chevrolet car in India. Confusing right? Lets us explain.
Most of us probably remember the cute little hatchback from 1998, the Daewoo Matiz. Soon after GM acquired Daewoo motors, the car came to the known as the Chevrolet Matiz in the International markets. The second generation of the Chevrolet Matiz globally was actually the same car as the Chevrolet Spark that we got in 2007. But here’s the twist, The car that we got as the Beat in India went by the name of Chevrolet Spark in American and Latin American markets and also as the Daewoo Matiz creative in the South Korean markets. Hence all the three Moniker are interrelated with each with on similar cars and in a certain way the Beat is a successor of these cars.
Then we got the Chevrolet Beat in India
It all started with a feature in the popular Hollywood movie franchise, Transformers. The Beat hatchback concept was first seen in the 2009 movie Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and it went by the name of Skids in the movie. The best part about the Beat was that from the concept to the production-ready version, the Beat retained most its quirky yet appealing design characteristics. It had the same distinctive compact hatchback design that was expected after the concept car which was showcased.
Despite having the followed inheritance of the Chevrolet Spark, the Beat did not share platforms with the fellow Chevy hatchback and was based on the all-new GM Global Small Vehicle platform. This platform made use of sturdy materials and gave the Beat a high-grade built quality, something which most of the hatchbacks in our country lack. From the body panels to the quality of the plastics in the interior, everything was top-notch and well constructed for a car of its segment.
The Beat looked like nothing else in the market
The beat looked nothing like what was already on offer in the hatchback segment in India. The compact yet tall boy proportions, strong lines and bulges, and elements like rear door handle hosted around the C-pillar made the car stand out on the road.
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The Interiors of the Beat compared to even the hatchbacks we have today, almost 10 years after the Beat’s first launch in India, still stand out. Elements like the Motorcycle-inspired instrument cluster, well laid out centre console, Integrated music system, made the Beat a very refreshing experience on the Inside.
Speaking of refreshing interiors, the Beat, despite having compact proportions was surprisingly spacious on the inside as well. It offered a decent amount of legroom for rear passengers as well.
2010 Chevrolet Beat Petrol
The Chevrolet Beat, when launched, first came with a 1.2 Litre petrol engine making 80.5HP and 108Nm of torque. Compared to Swift’s 87HP and 113Nm of torque, it wasn’t as fun to drive as the Swift but was still a very peppy motor and could make quick city runs with ease.
2011 Chevrolet Beat Diesel
Just after a year of its launch, the Beat came with a diesel variant. It was the cheapest and the smallest diesel on offer back then which was basically a downsized derivative of the Fiat-sourced types of diesel engines earlier seen in the segment. The Beat used a 936cc, 3-cylinder, diesel engine which produced 56HP and 142Nm of torque with an ARAI claimed fuel efficiency rating of 25.44 Kmpl.
Diesel cars are known for their fuel efficiency and diesel with such small displacement meant great fuel economy which influenced sales for the Beat in India.
There was a Beat EV?
Reportedly, GM motors were had plans to develop an electric version of the Chevrolet Spark (Chevrolet Beat in India) in collaboration with Reva Electric Car Company. However, that could not see the light of the day as the Reva was taken over by the Mahindra and Mahindra Group.
Still, there did exist a Beat based electric vehicle in the United States. In 2011, GM motors developed an electric vehicle based on the Chevrolet Spark (Chevrolet Beat in India) called the Chevrolet Spark EV. The EV sold was in limited numbers in only a few states in America.
End of the road for Chevrolet (and) Beat in India
In 2017, GM decided to stop the sales of Chevrolet cars in India and gave-up its manufacturing unit in Halol, Gujarat. Along with that, Chevrolet also stopped selling the Beat in the country and was hence discontinued. The remaining stock at dealerships of the Beat was cleared-off with a discount of up to Rs. 1.15 Lakh. Chevrolet continues to provide after-sales services in the country, hence the existing and latest owners of the Beat have nothing to worry about when it comes to maintaining their vehicle. Globally the Beat moniker sold over a million cars worldwide.
2017, the last attempt was made
In 2017, before announcing their take-off from the Indian Market, Chevrolet speculated the launch of the next-gen Beat active in India. But as they stopped sales in the country, the Beat Active was also probably called off.
Chevrolet still manufactured the next-gen Beat in India from its Talegaon plant in Maharastra until very recently before the plant the was handed over to the Great Wall Motors by GM.
The next-gen Beat is still on sale in the US by the name of Chevrolet Spark.10