Chevrolet is getting ready to roll out a new, five-door version of its compact Cruze model, a move that might have had industry analysts scratching their heads just a few years ago.
Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, hatchbacks were hot. But due to some poor designs and quality problems – notably leaky hatches – they earned a bad reputation as “penalty-box” cars and all but vanished from the market. Suddenly, however, the market appears to be heating up again, with manufacturers introducing new models and consumers responding enthusiastically.
“Automakers are responding to consumer demand for additional choice,” said David Sullivan, a senior automotive analyst with AutoPacific, Inc.
Adding new body styles, said Sullivan, can also help prop up passenger car nameplates that have been losing momentum as more and more U.S. buyers shift to sport- and crossover-utility vehicles, as well as other light truck lines.