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The Chevrolet Matiz is a City car produced by the South Korean automaker GM Daewoo that has been marketed worldwide since 1998. Available solely as a five-door hatchback with two engine configurations, and replacing the Daewoo Tico, the Matiz was originally designed by Italdesign Giugiaro and has been facelifted twice.
Notably, the Matiz was at the center of a 2006 international Intellectual property rights controversy, its design allegedly copied outright by Chinese manufacturer Chery's Chery QQ.
The Daewoo Matiz started production in 1998 and sold in South Korea and many European markets with the code name M100. The exterior design is based on the Lucciola, a Fiat Cinquecento concept by Italdesign Giugiaro which had been rejected by Fiat. The 0.8-litre gasoline engine and the transmission were carryovers from the Daewoo Tico. The car became the best selling Daewoo model in Europe for the next four years.
The Matiz is available in one body style: a five-door hatchback.
The Matiz was originally launched with just a 0.8 L 3-cylinder engine, however with the 2001 model-year revisions a 1.0 L 4-cylinder was added to the upper models of the range. In 2008 the 0.8 L was revised to fall below the 120g/km level, thus qualifying for the UK's £35 road tax band and no London Congestion Charge.
A facelifted model (codenamed M150) was introduced in South Korea in late 2000, and exported from 2001. Following Daewoo's takeover by General Motors Corporation in 2002, the engine range was updated with a 1.0-litre Daewoo S-Tec engine.
In 2005 the Matiz received a facelift (M200), based on the Chevrolet M3X concept car shown at 2004 Paris Motor Show. The S-Tec engines were updated and the car's Drag coefficient was lowered, resulting in better Fuel economy. One notable feature of this car is its centre-mounted instrument cluster.
The aging Alto platform will be replaced with a new city car platform developed by GM Daewoo engineers and based on GM Gamma platform.
The 2005 Chevrolet Matiz scored three stars (with one strike through) in the EuroNCAP crash test: "The final adult occupant protection star is struck through because there was an unacceptably high risk of life-threatening injury to the chest in side impact." test: "Overall this is a creditable performance from a car without a side airbag." By contrast, the pre-2005 Daewoo Matiz was awarded 72% in the side impact Euro NCAP
In Europe, the Matiz is equipped with front seatbelt pretensioners, front seatbelt load limiters, driver and passenger frontal airbags and ISOFIX rear anchorages.
Chinese copy controversy
Also marketed in China as the Chevrolet Spark, the Matiz has been at the center of an industrial rights controversy ever since a very similar car, the Chery QQ, had been introduced by local manufacturer Chery Automobile.
- GM China Group indicated the two vehicles "shared remarkably identical body structure, exterior design, interior design and key components." 
- MotorAuthority.com called the QQ a "Carbon copy." 
- The International Herald Tribune in a 2005 article, referred to the QQ as a Molecular cloning. 
Putting the controversy in important context, the Detroit News reported that "the dispute reflects the confusion, risks and ambitions in China's new auto industry, where global carmakers are battling pugnacious upstarts for a piece of what may become the world's largest auto market."
Global marketing and manufacture
- From 1998 until 2001, the Matiz was sold in Japan under Chevrolet Matiz. From 2001 until 2006, it was sold under Chevrolet Matiz II. In fact, both models were distributed and marketed by Suzuki. In 2006, it took the Daewoo marque.
- In India, it was launched in 1999 as the Daewoo Matiz. General Motors India relaunched it as the Chevrolet Spark in 2007.
- In Pakistan, the car was initially introduced as Chevrolet Exclusive in 2003. It is currently manufactured by Nexus Automotive under the name Chevrolet Joy.
- In the Philippines, the Matiz was available during the years 1999-2000 through the Grey Market. In 2007, it was released under the name Chevrolet Spark.
- From 1998 until 2004, the Matiz was sold in Europe under the Daewoo badge. In 2005, it took the Chevrolet marque, as well as the other South Korean models of General Motors.
- Since 2000, Complete knock down kits have been supplied UzDaewooAuto, Fabryka Samochodów Osobowych and Automobile Craiova, to be built and sold in Uzbekistan, Poland and Romania respectively. At the beginning of 2005, the Polish Matiz started to be sold under the marque FSO (FSO Matiz), which obtained autonomy. New models of Matiz are sold as Chevrolet Spark.
- In Mexico, the Matiz was introduced to the market in 2003. The 2006 model was renamed to Pontiac Matiz G2. It was also sold as Pontiac Matiz and Pontiac G2.
- In the Dominican Republic it is sold as the Chevy Spark. Also sold is the Chery QQ.
- In Colombia, the Matiz was imported by Daewoo distributors between 2002 and 2005 and then GM Colmotores began to assemble and sell it branded as Chevrolet Spark. In 2006, a taxi version called 7/24 was launched.
- In Argentina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru and Uruguay it is sold as the Chevrolet Spark.
- In Paraguay, it was initially sold as Daewoo Matiz, but from 2008 it is sold through Chevrolet dealers.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 "CGM charges Chery for alleged mini car piracy". Gong Zhengzheng, China Daily, 2004-12-18. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-12/18/content_401235.htm.
- ↑ "China to Foreign Automakers: Drop Dead". Frank Williams. 2007-08-16. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/editorials/china-to-foreign-automakers-drop-dead/. Retrieved on 2007-12-17.
- ↑ "China Chinese Chery QQ - a carbon copy of the Daewoo Matiz". MotorAuthority.com 6 July 2006. http://www.motorauthority.com/news/industry/chinese-chery-qq-a-carbon-copy-of-the-daewoo-matiz/.
- ↑ "China's quest to sell cars in the U.S.". International Herald Tribune, Chris Buckley, Jan 7, 2005. http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/01/06/business/cars.php.
- ↑ "Chinese carmaker ambitious, controversial". Detroit News, Christine Tierney. http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0501/02/A08-47232.htm.