What Happened to GM's Geo?
By Correy Putton
In the late 1980's when the small import market started to grow, General Motors made a decision to compete on the said market. In the process, the Geo was born. Geo is a brand of small cars and SUVs which GM hoped to make as the car for the youth during those times.
It was in 1989 when Geo was formed and came up with its first car. But waning interest on small cars led to the subsequent discontinuation of the manufacture of cars under this brand. The last model it has produced is the Geo Tracker and the production of this vehicle was already stopped in 2004.
The line is known for having great fuel savings technology, but if the design of the car was improved, better handling and higher optimum speeds would have been achieved. This is not to say that the design and the overall performance of this car is flawed, it is just that the car is designed to cut gas costs and it is just what this car can do. Various make sure that such efficiency for every gallon of gas is achieved adding to that the marvelous engineering that has gone to the design of the engine and the car itself.
Through its short time of existence, the brand has produced 4 subcompact cars and a light SUV, all of which has been based on models of Japanese car manufacturers. Suzuki, Toyota, and Isuzu have teamed up with General Motors to bring these cars into life.
The first of the Geo cars is the Metro; it is based on the Suzuki Swift and was available as a hatchback, a sedan or a convertible, yup, a convertible. It is the most fuel efficient car the General Motors has produced; it lived up to 13 years until 2001.
The Geo Prizm based on the Toyota Corolla Sprinter is one of the more known vehicles having won various awards in its credit. The list accolades include being named the Consumers' Digest Best Buy. What brings its ultimate demise is the passive marketing ploy by Chevrolet. Since the Prizm has joined the Chevrolet line in 1997, and the Chevrolet Cavalier is on the same class, it faced a competition from within, and the Chevrolet marketing scheme of putting the Cavalier on top of the Prizm led to the waning interest on the brand though it is of higher quality than the Cavalier.
With its collaboration with Isuzu, GM produced a short-lived compact car based on the Isuzu Gemini - the Spectrum. This car is once under the Chevrolet brand, but to add choices to the Geo brand, it was transferred under the Geo line.
Another short-lived car from Geo is the Storm, a sporty fastback or station wagon. It is based on the Isuzu Impulse, and this is one of the cars produced by Geo with a big number of sales. But in 1993, after just 3 years of existence, it was discontinued due to the refocusing of Isuzu on trucks and SUVs.
The hardiest model produced by Geo is the Tracker; it is a part of the original lineup in 1989 and stayed until 2004 when the brand itself was discontinued. This light SUV based on the Suzuki Vitara was available in either hardtop or convertible configuration. It has soft suspension and promised to go either as a city driving vehicle or an off-road one.
In the fast-paced automotive industry, car brands may come and go but the marvelous engineering feats they have accomplished will send ripples across the pond, constantly coming up to affect the designs of cars in the future.
About the Author
Corey Putton is a 28-year old bachelor from Pittsburgh, PA who has been around cars for the better part of his life. He now works online and writes all about his passion: cars. He is also a certified mechanic.
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