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New Cruze Hatchback Backing Chevy’s European Assault

Mom and apple pie brand increasingly going global.

by on Mar.03, 2011

The Chevrolet Cruze hatchback - two-thirds of European buyers prefer 5-doors.

What’s more American, as the old ad slogan went, than “hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet?”  Well these days, it’s not only the USA you can see in your Chevy.

The maker is giving European motorists a first look at the new Cruze hatchback at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the latest model in an expanding Chevrolet line-up on the Continent.  Europeans actually got the original Cruze sedan a bit ahead of the U.S. because of bankruptcy-related delays.  Now, bets Chevy, it can expand the compact model’s appeal by adding a 5-door.

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Europeans have traditionally been far more open to the utilitarian hatchback than buyers back in the States – in fact, Chevy officials estimate 5-doors, including wagons, accounting for about two-thirds of European sales.

And cracking Europe is critical for the brand, which has become increasingly global.  Until relatively recently, Chevy was limited to the North, Central and South American markets – in many, it is still the overwhelmingly dominant brand.  But it is now spreading its wings around the globe, pitching buyers from Beijing to Berlin.


GM Nixes Cruze Hatchback for U.S. Market

European 5-door to debut at Paris Motor Show.

by on Sep.08, 2010

Production of the Chevrolet Cruze sedan is underway, but don't expect to see this hatchback version in the U.S. anytime soon.

General Motors has nixed plans to bring the hatchback version of the new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze to the U.S. market.

GM officially launched production of the North American version of the Cruze at its big assembly complex in Lordstown, Ohio, Wednesday, to the applause of union officials and local political dignitaries – and the thousands of workers who, barely a year ago, were left wondering if they’d even have a job.

“We have been working hard toward this goal for the past two years,” said UAW Local 1112 President Jim Graham. “We have a premium small car that we are proud to build and eager to get into the dealerships.”

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The first Cruze sedans built at Lordstown will arrive in dealerships next week and GM has a lot riding on the car, which many analysts believe could give the automaker a leg up on the imports that have normally dominated the compact segment, notably the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.