Geo was a brand of small cars and SUVs marketed by General Motors as a subdivision of their Chevrolet division, introduced in 1989. Their original slogan was "Get to know Geo." Originally formed by GM to compete with the growing small import market of the late 1980s, the line continued through the 1997 model year, after which the remaining models joined the Chevrolet lineup. The 1990s saw fading consumer interest in the economy compact market,[citation (source) needed] and the last vehicle of the former Geo line, the Tracker, was discontinued in 2004. In Canada, another import marque, Asüna, was introduced in 1992 to provide Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealers access to a similar range of import vehicles.
The car was a failure.
Geo models were manufactured by GM in joint-ventures with Japanese import manufacturers. The Prizm was produced at the GM/Toyota joint-venture NUMMI assembly plant in Fremont, California, and the Metro and Tracker were produced at the GM/Suzuki joint-venture CAMI assembly plant in Ingersoll, Ontario. The exceptions, the Spectrum and Storm, were entirely manufactured by Isuzu in Japan. Geo Metro convertibles and early Geo Trackers were built by Suzuki in Japan.
The Geo Metro was a small economy car based on the Suzuki Swift (Cultus). It was produced from 1989 to 2001 model years. The first generation was offered in three and five-door hatchback models as well as a 4-door notchback sedan that was only sold in Canada. In 1990, a convertible was available but was phased out after 1993. Metros came in three trim levels: XFi, Base or LSi. The XFi's engine has less horsepower than the base and LSi and achieved startling gas mileage 53 MPG (city) 58 MPG (highway). However all of the Metros at this time had three cylinder engines with a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission. The convertible is also the only first-generation Metro to offer an airbag. In 1995 the Metro was redesigned with a more modern appearance and offered a 70hp four-cylinder engine, standard dual airbags and optional anti-lock brakes. A four-door sedan replaced the five-door hatchback. The XFi did not return for 1995 and only the base and LSi models were offered. The three-cylinder engined remained in the base hatchback. In 1998 the Metro, now branded as a Chevrolet, was revamped one last time. It was given a minor re-styling, improved headlamps, and improved four cylinder engine, now producing 79 horsepower. 2000 was the last year for the Metro hatchback and the three cylinder engine. All 2001 models were four-door sedans that were sold to fleets only.
The Prizm was a compact four-door sedan based on the Sixth-Generation Toyota Corolla and Toyota Sprinter. It is the successor to the Chevrolet Nova and Isuzu-built Geo Spectrum. While the Prizm consistently won awards from the auto industry (including having the honor of being a Consumer's Digest Best Buy), it was always outsold by the Toyota Corolla. Additionally, the Prizm had an awkward position in Chevrolet's lineup since it competed with Chevrolet's own Cavalier for market share and dealer floor space. The Prizm was sold from 1989 through 2002 and was produced at NUMMI in Fremont, California. The Prizm came in either a base model or a more upscale LSi version which had an optional 1.8 engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission. foam interior was also optional on the LSi model. From 1990-1992 the Prizm had a sporty GSi model, with red and black badging. It is equivalent to the Corolla GT-S. The GSi was the most powerful Prizm with 130 horsepower.
Spectrum was a short-lived subcompact based on the Isuzu I-Mark and one size up from the Metro. The Spectrum was sold as a Chevrolet model from 1985 to 1988. With the launch of the Geo brand in 1989, the Spectrum was rebranded as a Geo. Although the grille stayed the same (including the Chevrolet "bowtie" emblem) the rear "Chevrolet" emblem was replaced with a "Geo" emblem. The Spectrum offered potential buyers an option other than the Geo Metro. The Geo Spectrum was only sold in 1989 and was replaced by the Isuzu-produced Geo Stormhatchback.
The Storm was a sporty car based on the Isuzu Impulse, available as either a two-door fastback or a hatchback. The Storm entered Geo's lineup in 1990 as either a base model or a GSi, replacing the related Geo Spectrum. The base model came with a choice of either a 3 speed automatic or a 5 speed manual. The GSi models came with either a 5 speed manual or a 4 speed automatic, better handling, a rear spoiler, bucket seats, and a more powerful DOHC engine. In 1992 the front and rear of all models were restyled, the GSi sported a bigger 1.8 liter DOHC engine, replacing the former 1.6 DOHC, and a redesigned rear spoiler. Despite strong sales the Storm was discontinued in 93, this was due in part to Isuzu discontinuing their car lines, and refocusing on trucks and SUVs. The Geo Storm was the performance oriented vehicle of the Geo brand. The storm was produced in Japan by Isuzu alongside the Geo Spectrum.
The Geo Tracker was introduced in 1989 and based on the Suzuki Sidekick. It was originally offered as a convertible and two-door hard top. It was offered in base and upscale LSi versions. In 1996 the two-door hard top was dropped in favor of the four-door wagon model. The four-door offered a 95 horsepower engine and an optional four speed automatic transmission. The Tracker was produced from 1989 to 1997 under the Geo brand, and 1998 to 2004 under the Chevrolet brand, making it the longest running Geo model. The Tracker was completely redesigned for the 1999 model year. It was replaced by the Chevrolet Equinox in 2005.