Utahns got their first look at two of Chevrolet's new 1990 Lumina and Geo cars Thursday as the Utah Automobile Dealers Association opened its 1989 Utah Auto Show at the Salt Palace. The show runs through Sunday.
The Lumina - not yet available for purchase - was a last-minute entry in the show, which features more than 300 vehicles from 30 manufacturers. Some 175 Utah auto dealers are represented.On view at the show was the 1990 Lumina Euro 3.1 four-door sedan, the largest front-wheel drive car ever to wear the Chevrolet bowtie. Other Luminas scheduled for introduction this year include a two-door coupe and the Lumina APV, a seven-seat multipurpose vehicle that Chevrolet says will be unlike any other minivan on the market.
The sedan will be in dealer showrooms this spring, followed by the coupe and APV in the fall, though early production could put some cars in dealerships this summer. The coupe, for example, will be available in limited quantities before May 9 when the first Lumina NASCAR racer competes at Talladega race track on that date.
The Lumina sedan and coupe are targeted at married couples with children, according to Robert D. Burger, Chevrolet general manager. Target age group is 35-55 years with some coupe buyers under age 35. Median income of Lumina buyers is expected to top $37,000, including spouse income. Only a third will be college graduates, said Burger.
"These three new Lumina models are square in the middle of a market that Chevrolet knows how to serve better than any other manufacturer," said Burger. "Each Lumina model is both innovative in styling and engineering and still, in the best Chevrolet tradition, eminently affordable."
He said Lumina is the largest new product launch in Chevy's history and, at full production, could account for up to 200,000 sales a year. If so, that would place Chevrolet at the top in the hotly competitive mid-size family market.
The Lumina sedan has 4-wheel disc brakes, 4-wheel independent suspension, an optional 3.1 liter V6 engine and standard equipment that includes a 2.5 liter engine, 3-speed automatic transmission, front wheel drive, power steering, split back cloth bench seat, dual reclining front seats, full trunk trim and AM/FM stereo radio with clock.
Also being introduced locally at the show was one of Chevrolet's Geo family of four new vehicles that represent joint ventures with Japanese manufacturers Toyota, Suzuki and Isuzu.
Geo - signifying "of the world" - is not a separate franchise, said Burger, but part of the Chevrolet lineup that will be kept separate to attract import buyers - those who otherwise might not consider a Chevy.
The Geo Prizm is the newest offering from New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMI), the General Motors-Toyota joint venture. It's available as a 4-door notchback or 5-door hatchback and can be ordered with a high-style LSi option package.
The Geo Metro is the lowest-priced, highest gas mileage offering in the Geo lineup. It's built by Suzuki and will be available as a hatchback coupe and a four-door hatchback sedan. Prices begin at $5,995.
The Geo Spectrum is an Isuzu-built subcompact that has been in Chevy showrooms for a few years but has been "recontented" to attract more entry-level buyers in 1989.
The Geo Tracker is the new sport utility vehicle built by Suzuki which comes in two-door, up-level LSi and convertible models. Base price is $10,195.
The Tracker, Metro and Spectrum are all on display at the show.