It may seem shocking to find out 2-door cars in Brazil had been used even as a taxi, but it's not easy to understand how things work sometimes. Even before the oil embargoes of the '70s, some cities already had Beetles operating as the so-called "táxi mirim", when bigger 4-door cars usually from American automakers were the rule for the service, soon losing their leadership to the Beetle due to its lower cost and easier operation.
Sure it was not the best option when it comes to interior space and luggage capacity, but the Beetle had a considerable presence in the Brazilian taxi segment until the early-'90s, and even other models with a more modern design were still more common in 2-door bodystyle because this feature was perceived as easier to retain resale value, certainly influenced by the widespread presence of the Beetle in Brazil and the perception of 4-door versions of other cars as rendering them more suitable to taxi or fleet usage.
Access to the rear seat in some 2-door taxis was facilitated by the removal of the front passenger seat, which became an usual practice when the Beetle ruled the segment. It's always worth to remind the usage of seatbelts was not so strictly enforced in Brazil until '99, and little to no effort used to be done by traffic enforcement to prevent carrying passengers in a luggage compartment as long as it was closed, then it was OK to eventually carrying kids in that luggage space right behind the rear seat of a Beetle for instance...
To make it easier for the driver to close the passenger door of a Beetle taxi, the most usual method was to tie a rope at the armrest, while the other extremity of the rope was placed at a convenient location to be simply pulled with little effort. This would seem extremely unlikely to happen nowadays, when most if not every city in Brazil requires only 4-door cars to be used as a taxi.
One of those economy-cars which may become a valuable asset for its manufacturer, despite the SUV madness which took over the world, the Chevrolet Joy began as an entry-level variant of the Brazilian 1st generation of the Chevrolet Onix after a facelift, which it only received when it became a model of its own after the release of the 2nd generation of the Onix. Having been phased out from the Chevrolet range in Brazil in early 2022 as it was uncompliant to recently implemented emission regulations, even though demand on regional export markets remains sustainable, in April there were announcements of a move of its production base from a Brazilian GM factory São Caetano do Sul to the Colombian plant of GM Colmotores in Bogotá, which is actually a more logical move than it would appear at a first glance. After the recent retreats of GM from India started in late-2017 with the end of local sales, leading to its export-oriented business being ultimately phased out around 2020 when manufacturing and sales were also phased out in Thailand and Indonesia, setting a base to manufacture an affordable car is much more important to retain a foothold on some budget-oriented and conservative markets, also eventually being desirable in regions other than South America and the Caribbean once the Chevrolet Spark still made in South Korea gets phased out which is scheduled to happen in October this year.
Having both the hatchback bodystyle which seems to be more viable for other regions where entry-level Chevrolet models are currently sourced mostly from China and to a minor extent South Korea, and also a sedan formerly named Chevrolet Prisma which would most likely fall under the friendly fire from the SAIC-GM joint-venture despite its simpler engine rendering it more suitable to harsher environmental conditions and poorer maintenance, the Chevrolet Joy may be just marginally more expensive than the subcompacts formerly sourced from India. The transfer of its production base to Colombia may render it relevant for Chevrolet to secure its foothold in Latin America, where in 2018 the Joy still named Chevrolet Onix and available with an optional automatic transmission was the best-selling car in the entire region, despite being unavailable in countries such as Mexico and some island nations in the Caribbean partly because of the GM Caribbean operations having mostly mirrored the Mexican range even in strictly-RHD markets such as Trinidad and Tobago while the Onix and Joy are LHD only. Now that manufacturing operations in Mexico and South Korea are more oriented toward SUVs and mostly bound for export to the United States and Canada, and the São Caetano do Sul plant is also becoming devoted to light-truck and SUV manufacturing for the Brazilian market, and the regional exports which are also likely to increase due to the GM retreat from Thailand where truck manufacturing was the core business, it's worth to consider the GM Colmotores as a suitable site for the Chevrolet Joy due to a sustainable demand claimed to be around 35000 units yearly with 70% of the volume bound for the regional export markets in South America such as Argentina, Ecuador and Peru, even though it could be desirable even in countries with a Pacific coastline in other regions such as the Philippines where a geographic proximity is supposed to render the Korean Chevrolet Spark more competitive than a Chevrolet Joy hatchback while the sedan would eventually struggle harder to set a foothold.
While the Chevrolet Joy had a 1.0L engine in Brazil due to tax advantages, in contrast to the 1.4L fitted to export-bound units which is not actually much more expensive to manufacture, eventually bringing back the automatic transmission option could appeal to former buyers of the Korean Chevrolet Spark in regions other than South America while keeping the Colombian manufacturing even more sustainable. Sure there would be some arguments against switching the production site because the president of GM for South America is the Colombian Santiago Chamorro, but it's a smart move to consolidate operations at the GM Colmotores plant which is currently underused as a CKD assembly site for Isuzu trucks and bus frames imported from Japan, so even an affordable car which is supposed to be unprofitable makes sense both at a local level and occasionally beyond South America, considering some other markets are nearly as conservative and budget-conscious. In the end, this is a great opportunity both for GM to keep competitive and for Colombia to become a more important player as a car manufacture and export hub.
Much have already been said about bureaucratic restrictions preventing the fitment of Diesel engines to most light-duty vehicles in Brazil, with a few excemptions granted to trucks or other cargo vehicles tied to a minimum payload of one metric ton, off-road capable vehicles with a dual-range 4WD system, or a minimum capacity of 10 seats including the driver which enables registering vans or SUVs as a minibus in order to ensure the legality of a Diesel engine even when the payload in a 2WD model is smaller than one metric ton. Argentinian-made versions of the Ford Ranger used to have different payload rates for a gasoline-powered model, more similar to their American counterparts, and the turbodiesels which had a higher payload within the Brazilian rule either for a 2WD version like this one or a 4WD which would be legal with a Diesel even if the payload remained the same as the American counterparts. Despite the availability of a factory-built double-cab bodystyle since the '98 model-year, the Brazilian tradition of a more leisure-oriented aftermarket conversion retained a strong foothold for a while. Converting a truck into a sedan-like model was an usual approach to eventually circumvent restrictions against the fitment of a Diesel engine to a "normal" car, which may justify examples such as this 2001 model-year Ranger XLT which was originally a regular-cab, with the 2.5L Maxion HS turbodiesel sourced regionally, and 2WD.