General Motors stages a Broadway Style extravaganza at one of Beijing’s newest landmarks – the Water Cube from the 2008 Olympics – for the debut of the new Chevrolet Cruze.
The new model, which will eventually make its journey to the U.S., as well, shared the spotlight with the new Chevrolet Trax introduced earlier in the week at the New York Auto Show.
“China is a very important opportunity for the Chevrolet brand,” said Alan Batey, the head of the Chevrolet brand worldwide, as the Cruze rolled out.
Beijing was the right place to introduce the new Cruze, said Ed Welburn, GM vice president of global design, because the current model has already been on the market in China for two years longer than it has been in either North America or Europe.
The new Cruze that debuted on the eve of the Beijing International Auto Show embodies the international design language that GM is using on the Chevrolet brand around the world, added Welburn, who declined to say when the next-generation compact will appear in the U.S. However, he did suggest it would be relatively soon.
“It won’t be as long (a wait) as it was in the past,” he said.
(Lincoln reveals new MKX Concept in Beijing. Click Here for a closer look.)
The new Chevrolet Cruze design features a more coupe-like look to enhance aerodynamics and give it a more passionate appearance, said Wellburn.
It gets a more steeply raked windshield, a wider stance, strong muscular surfaces and a new face, complete with advanced headlights, textured grille and new fascia, Welburn noted during the press presentation. “Cruze is a fresh statement for Chevrolet,” he said, and it also is proof that “Design with a Heartbeat,” is more than just a slogan for GM and Chevrolet.
“It’s a tremendous design that makes a modern statement,” added Welburn, who notes the final design was heavily influenced by a concept car that GM first unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in 2012. The final version also was influenced by GM designers in China, as well as Europe – where the project was finalized.
The new Cruze also features new powertrains built around two versions of the EcoTec small displacement engine – GM promising a significant improvement in fuel-economy, anywhere from 14 to 21%. GM will start rolling out the new engines — a 1.4-liter turbocharged inline-four, and a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated I-4 — this year.
GM also used the preview to roll out the Chinese version of the new Chevrolet Trax compact sport utility vehicle. Trax was also unveiled in New York last week.
(Click Here for a closer look at the new Chevy Trax.)
Trax is specifically designed to appeal to youthful buyers in their 30s with young families, and GM is preparing to put an extensive marketing campaign behind both new Chinese models in its bid to regain market sales leadership – something it lose to rival Volkswagen AG last year.
GM’s marketing efforts in China have grown steadily more sophisticated, and to help sell the Trax specifically, GM and its principal Chinese partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., have recruited two youthful personalities familiar to moviegoers and television watchers in China. Taiwanese actor Kai Ko and Amber Kuo will serve as the brand ambassadors.
The Trax also has a role in the upcoming Transformers 4 movie. The entire Transformer series has helped make Chevrolet better known to younger buyers, Welburn said.
(Volvo showing off innovative S60L Plug-In Hybrid in Beijing. Click Here to check it out.)