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Chevrolet to replace Aveo name with 2012 Sonic

The compact B-segment is heating up in the North American market with a variety of new models being introduced in the past year and in an effort to improve their chances, General Motors has decided to change the name of their Chevrolet B segment car from Aveo to Sonic.

The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic will be produced at GM’s Orion Township alongside the upcoming Buick Verano with production beginning sometime in the 2011 calendar year. Although the Sonic name will be applied to the new Chevy B-segment models in the US, Mexico and Canada this car will continue to carry the Aveo name in markets outside of North America.

The car formerly known in the US as the Aveo was part of the “old GM” with the relatively unpleasant plastic interior and lack of features – a reputation that the compact car segment in the US is working to do away with. By giving the 2012 Sonic a sporty new name to go along with what we can expect to be a much more refined interior and a sharpened exterior, the Chevy Sonic will fit more comfortably into the “sporty compact” classification and shift away from the idea of being no more than cheap transportation.

General Motors wants their new B-segment Chevy Sonic to appeal to the younger crowd and the new name is definitely a step in the right direction but the name won’t be enough to move units. GM expects that the sporty styling and revised interior of the 2012 Sonic will help the General compete in the budding compact car segment in the US. Ford raised the bar for the US B-segment with their new Fiesta, featuring a flurry of high tech goodies in a sleek, sporty package after being one of the bestselling cars in Europe and while sales have been slow thus far – the growing price of gasoline may attract younger buyers to these sporty compacts. The Chevy Aveo (as we all knew it before) would have struggled to compete with the Fiesta but the “new” Sonic hopes to make a name for itself in the segment.