Arun Sudhaman 26 Mar 2012 // 11:00PM GMT
DETROIT--General Motors is searching for PR support as it gears up to launch its Chevrolet Spark minicar later this year.
The company is understood to be seeing presentations from at least four firms this week. GM’s roster of PR firms includes Fleishman-Hillard, MSLGroup, Mullen and Weber Shandwick.
One source involved in the process pegged the Chevy Spark account in the “low six-figure” range. Already available in many other countries, the Spark is GM’s first urban minicar in the US. The gasoline-powered version will compete with such marques as the Scion iQ, Fiat 500 and Smart fortwo.
An all-electric version of the car, the Spark EV, will also roll out next year. GM already makes the high-performance Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid, but the lower-cost Spark EV will help battle battery-powered vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, which currently leads the US electric car market.
While US drivers have yet to embrace electric vehicles, car companies are under pressure to produce more fuel-efficient models ahead of new regulations in 2025. Plug-in electric car sales reached over 17,000 in 2011, a tiny fraction of the 15-million unit US car market. Numerous automotive players are expected to launch electric vehicles in the near future, including Ford, Toyota and Honda.
A Chevrolet spokesperson did not respond to request for comment as this story went live.