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Chevrolet Code 130R, Tru 140S unveiled at 2012 Detroit show

Published: 09 January 2012

Chevrolet's press conference at the 2012 North American International Auto Show was all about youngsters: namely the millennials, or 11-30-year-olds who hold increasing consumer power.

GM reckons there are 80 million of them in the US, and they account for $1 trillion of spending power. So it's worth taking them seriously.

Such digital youngsters are very collaborative, according to Chevrolet research, so it's consulting them heavily in this pair of concept cars: the new Code 130 R (red car) and Tru 140 S (white).

Shades of Mazda RX-8?

We'll give you that. Both the new Chevy concepts are four-seater coupes. Why four-seaters? Becuase the kids want to carry their friends with them.

Neither car has an interior yet; the cabins will be designed by the youngsters, with a plethora of connectivity and smartphone inspired apps.

The big picture

'For the car company that can successfully engage this generation, there is a tremendous opportunity,' said John McFarland, senior manager for Chevrolet global marketing, who heads youth research for the brand. 'At Chevrolet, we want to build authentic and meaningful relationships with these customers on their terms. We want to hear what they have to say, engage them in our design process, and give them what they want – not what we think they want.'

Sounds trite. But when you consider the pace of societal change, and the younger generation's falling out of love with the car, this pair of concepts start to make more sense.

GM has form for trailling concept cars with the public. It admits both these cars could enter production for around $20,000.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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