By on July 19, 2013

LOC-Exterior

Reuters is reporting that the next iteration of the Chevy Cruze, originally due at the end of 2014, will not go into production until December 2015, as a 2016 model year car.

The news was revealed when union leaders at a Canadian Auto Workers staffed supplier, Cooper Standard Automotive, told their members. As Chevy is currently rolling out a number of new models, by the end of 2013 the Cruze will be Chevrolet’s oldest model. The next gen Cruze is supposed to be all-new, inside and out, and GM says that it will have more interior and cargo space as well as better fuel economy. June sales figures show that the Cruze is currently the second best selling car in America, behind Toyota’s Camry, and U.S. sales for the first half of 2013 were up 17% to ~134,000 units. Since the Camry is a midsized car, that means the Cruze is the best selling compact car in the U.S. market.

Though General Motors declined comment on the report out of Canada, the CAW local leaders said that “engineering changes” forced the delays. GM doesn’t want to have a repeat of the lukewarm response to the redesigned 2013 Malibu, which itself is getting a rare second year refresh for 2014. According to a supplier, GM is taking the extra time on the Cruze to ensure that it “”does break through the clutter”, unlike the recent Malibu. According to Reuters’ sources “familiar with the company’s plans”, the current model’s strong sales are also a factor in the delay of the new model, with the car company trying to wring as much profit out of the car as possible, before they replace it. The strong sales allow GM to bank money and putting off the new Cruze also allows them to reallocate funds to products currently being or about to be launched.

GM says that the new Cruze will not be assembled in Korea, perhaps an indication that unlike the previous model based on a Korean (read Daewoo, which is now GM Korea) platform, the new Cruze is being designed and engineered a bit closer to the Lordstown, Ohio plant where it will be assembled for the North American market.

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55 Comments on “Next Chevy Cruze Delayed For A Year Due to Engineering Changes and Strong Sales of Current Model...”


  • avatar
    lowsodium

    Hopefully this isnt a sign the model will stagnate.

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    Been said before, but I hope that the success of the Cruze in NA will encourage GM to sell a station wagon variant over here. At least a hatch.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yes the hatch and wagon that they sell on most of the rest of this planet.

      Pretty please GM?

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        IMO the Cruze wagon is the best looking wagon in the compact segment. And I don’t even prefer wagons. The Focus wagon sold in Europe looks… awful IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          Jeff Weimer

          Can you imagine? a Cruze wagon, diesel 6-speed, in…brown.

          • 0 avatar
            Sam P

            Geez, you guys need to run to a VW showroom. They build your dream wagon right now, and in brown to boot.

            http://www.vw.com/en/models/jettasportwagen/gallery.html

          • 0 avatar
            Freddy M

            @ Sam
            I checked out the link, and Wow. In Canada for some crazy stupid reason that exact vehicle is marketed as the Golf Wagon. Makes no sense to me.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Freddy, that’s because it is a Golf Wagon, based on the Golf platform, not the separate Jetta platform.

            But in the US the Jetta name has much more brand equity than it does anywhere else in the world, so they use it for the wagon.

          • 0 avatar
            Freddy M

            That clears it up, thanks. Shows how much I know about VW’s.

            Still although technically correct, the look of the overall car screams Jetta to me rather than Golf. In my mind a Golf can’t be anything bigger than a 5 door hatch. Wagon it ain’t.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          It IS pretty nice. My only complaint is the fuel filler on the passenger side and the tiny rear window/tailgate. Why don’t they make tailgates that go down to the floor anymore?

          • 0 avatar
            rudiger

            Supposedly, the logic on which side the fuel filler door is located is based on either convenience or safety. The theory goes that it is on the driver’s side for convenience at a gas station, but goes on the passenger side for safety in the event of an emergency, out-of-gas, road-side fill-up.

            For years, Jaguars side-stepped the issue and put fuel filler caps on both sides…

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Weimer

            I like it on the right side for convenience – you can find an empty pump easier if you have a gas cap on the right side.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      Not going to happen. Why give up the profits? From the BBC:

      “But among the (Euro wagons not brought to the US) is the Chevrolet Cruze wagon, which was unveiled last year at the Geneva Motor Show and encountered uniform praise in North American automotive press. When forced to answer for its strategy of keeping the car from US showrooms, Chevy indicated to The New York Times that a wagon would potentially pull shoppers away from the hot-selling, more lucrative Equinox crossover.”

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        Dammit I forgot that overlap.

        No wonder I inherently despise CUVs.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The Buick Encore can be had in Mocha Bronze or brown. Fold the front passenger’s seat down for a Jetta wagon-like almost 70 cubuc feet of cargo with the same gas mileage from it’s 1.4T as does the 2.5l VW. And Encore starts out about 3,100 lbs. It’s no ecno-box though including Bose noise cancelation.

        Not enough power? A Trifecta ecu tune with intake and exhaust is close to 250 horsepower or more than just about anything it’s size.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      +1

  • avatar
    NN

    June sales of the Cruze were massively pumped up, likely due to fleet sales. I believe YTD Cruze is still behind Corolla, Civic, Focus, maybe even the Elantra.

    Really interesting last paragraph…but I kinda doubt GMNA is behind much of the product. Maybe GM Korea isn’t leading the effort, but i’d bet they’re using lots of Shanghai GM input, maybe just managed from the US, and throwing in chassis and mechanical expertise from GM Europe. Just speculation here but probably not far off the mark. The last small car actually engineered by Americans was the Dodge Neon, before that Saturn. In other words…we haven’t done much of that kinda work in a very long time, and when we have done it, it’s never been great.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      New GM (aka post-BK) is using the threat of alternative design & production locations to try & restrain Korean labor (as well as R&D and engineering) costs (I realize that the U.S. sold J300 Cruze is “assembled” in Lordstown, Ohio, but their are larger Korea “centric” issues at play), and it’s not just China that GM will use as leverage (think about the rapid expansion of such resources and facilities, by most automakers, in places such as Mexico, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Poland, Romania, Morocco, etc.).

      The Cruze is GM’s most successful vehicle on a volume basis because it’s a class competitive (and in some important ways, leading – i.e. quiet, solid ride, interior materials) sedan that can be purchased for under 16k in OTD terms, and probably has an average transaction price of less than 19k.

      It’s a compact that’s as solid in terms of ride and quietness as what a midsized car was in 10 years ago, that purchased or leased at prices undercutting many competitors, at a time when Americans are as “price sensitive” due to necessity as ever.

      The Cruze is far different than the Cadillac ATS in so many respects that the comparison between the two represents the tale of two post-BK GMs.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        As much as I like GM, I have to say that the ATS tried so hard to be a Euro-bred sports sedan that it forgot what’s important to American buyers…namely that we like usable rear seats! Meanwhile the 3-Series in particular has evolved into a more-well-rounded prestige car, likely guaranteeing even more sales from the non-enthusiast crowd. The ’14 Lexus IS also looks like it promises to provide edge and excitement while increasing practicality. Even if the enthusiasts all flock to the Cadillac ATS, it’ll be a dubious honor since there’s hardly any money in it. Driving enthusiasts tend to be pretty cheap.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Toyota’s IS is missing an engine option everyone in that class offers. I can’t it much more than heavily subsidized lease deals much like the ILX is now.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Well, the good thing about an engine is that it can be added in the middle of the product lifecycle, as is often the case. So if it gets to the point where Lexus is missing a big number of sales because their IS lacks a certain powerplant, I’m sure they’ll add it in. And they’ll do it without turbos.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The Lexus IS, due to a toxic double dose of stealth cost cutting AND zee pursuit of zeee German sport sedans, is missing NVH refinement and that certain tangible quality of….quality.

            The ILX is pathetic joke, and is one of the most overpriced vehicle in terms of a ratio of what one pays for and what one receives offered by any mass manufacturer of vehicles.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I didn’t realize the Cruze was slated to be replaced so soon. I’m amazed they rolled out the diesel so close to what they thought was going to be the end of the model cycle.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      Now that you mention it, it does seem like the Cruze was just released “yesterday.” I can’t remember, which came out first, the Cruze or the current Focus? Did Cruze already have a mid cycle refresh?

      Or is this a case that Cruze was released in overseas markets years ago, and NA only got the end of its run like the 1st Gen Honda Fit?

  • avatar
    rnc

    If its because they want to make sure the car is right then that’s a great sign for the new GM.

    But My god if its b/c the old model is selling so well thats a stupid decision, if you have an advantage (especially with small cars and how competitive that segment is), you don’t rest on your laurals, you floor the gas (especially with the BK and the amount of cash that freed up for product/production development, improvement and modernization (without access to thier detailed SoCF, I was hoping it was negative last FY for that reason, they were pumping as much as they could into those areas, especially after basically having to turn if off for the two years b4 BK, while ford released the fire hose).

    If you take the GM vs. Ford full size truck comparison, GM’s all new truck is basically thier old truck because it sold well enough, while Ford’s previous model was obviously doing quite well, they’re flooring the gas for the next one, when they could have just made some incremental and cosmetic changes as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      GM has been starving it’s R&D for the last couple of years. I expect the next Cruze to be more evolution on balance than revolution because of that.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      There is something that can be said for not fixing something that isn’t broken. If the current Cruze is still moving, why rush its replacement if you don’t have to? That is taking advantage of the competitive advantage. They do have to make sure the replacement is enough of an improvement over the current car in order to not only (hopefully) capture more of the market but to turn current Cruze owners into repeat Cruze buyers.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    For the sake of continuity and building brand equity, let’s hope GM sticks with the Cruze moniker. It’s not a bad one.

    In the time that Chevrolet has produced the Cavalier, Cobalt, and Cruze – Honda has stuck with the Civic and Toyota has stuck with the Corolla.

    Granted, similar criticism could be levied at Ford and Chrysler. Especially Chrysler. Dodge’s entry into this segment over the the past 30 years goes something like Omni -> Shadow -> Neon -> Caliber -> Dart.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      That’s true. In this case I agree that they could potentially (and should) do that. But let’s keep in mind that the reason the D3 kept changing their compact names all the time is that they were considered quite poor compared to the Civic and Corolla (well in Corolla’s case it’s just driven by sales numbers pure and simple).

      Now that GM has a success in the Cruze, they do have an opportunity to build on the brand equity as you say.

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        GM Europe seems to do better with this; they’ve stuck with the Astra for their C-segment car since ’79.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vauxhall_Astra

        Granted, the Astra may very well have been a better car than the Chevy Cavalier was in terms of market perception.

        • 0 avatar
          Freddy M

          Does Vauxhall also sell the Cruze in Britain? Or is it Astra only?

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            GM sells the Cruze under the Chevy brand throughout Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            Freddy M

            Interesting. Is the Astra positioned as a more Premium offering? It certainly looks more upscale than the Cruze, not that the Cruze looks bad or low-rent that is.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            The Astra is roughly the same price (the Astra hatchback is slightly cheaper, but the station wagon is more expensive). I don’t really think it is positioned as more premium or anything. Chevy, not Vauxhall/Opel got the Cruze in Europe because of GM’s desire to grow the Chevy brand (in terms of both size and image) in Europe, where is has been traditionally known to just sell crappy Korean cars (although the Cruze itself is Korean, although a lot of people probably don’t realize that).

          • 0 avatar
            marjanmm

            Chevrolet is widely considered renamed Daewoo and thus at the very bottom of brand equity ladder. Opel on the other hand is there among all the other non premium brands ford, renault, fiat…
            It all means the latest Astra or Focus are more desirable than the Cruze. Also Cruze is generally noticeably cheaper than both Astra or Focus.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            A lot of the Cruze’s input also hails from the Opel division, chiefly the Delta II platform that underpins it.

        • 0 avatar
          marjanmm

          Opel’s C class car has been named Astra since 1991, it was Kadett before they adopted the name of the Vauxhall.

  • avatar
    SayMyName

    Well, in GM’s defense, the 1994 Cavalier was also a “strong seller.”

  • avatar
    SteelyMoose

    Hope the launch isn’t an epic fail to mirror that of the Malibu.

  • avatar
    GiddyHitch

    Is no one else concerned about taking development of the Cruze out of the hands of Korea and dropping it in RenCen’s lap? GM has never produced a great small car in my lifetime and I believe that’s largely due to management than engineering. Putting management in close proximity of development is not a recipe for success. The “bigger and better” evolution hinted at in this article is typically the kiss of death in the compact segment (see xB, Fit, etc).

  • avatar
    turbobrick

    …plus one or two years of Cruze Classic production for fleet sales after it goes away from normal retail.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Good news to me, that is, if GM really wants to do it right, but why not strike when the iron’s hot?

    Buickman may have an opinion on this.

    I just hope when the new design comes out, it has just a bit more “oomph” to it, and not look like a Chrysler 200. In other words, add a few styling cues and toss out ANY excuse for the dreaded “plastic triangle” too many cars use just to give the appearance of length in the greenhouse area.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Easy solution for the dreaded “black plastic triangle”. Legal maximum allowable window tint on the back windows. Then it totally disappears. :P

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Several things occur to me:

    Engineering people and project money are resources that are always in short supply. What other project is demanding more attention than expected?

    The Cruze is selling pretty well against a field that includes a badly outdated Corolla. The new Corolla is due pretty soon. The profitable sales GM is enjoying are likely to take a hit (Toyota could swing and miss… but it’s not likely and banking on that is stupid).

    Maybe we should be wondering what has gone so badly wrong with the new Cruze development that the car has been postponed?

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Have to agree on this one. This market segment is critical and dog-eat-dog, so for GM to sit back and say, “Meh, the current Cruze is selling well. Let’s just keep it around for a bit longer” really sounds like the old GM. GM’s idea of building cars that were built to a price point and just good enough for decades is what got them in trouble.

      In fact, I would imagine that the Cruze’ success caught Toyota completely off guard. They’re quite unlikely to make the same mistake twice, and if GM is delaying the next gen Cruze because they’re taking current Cruze sales for granted, thinking the rest of the market is going to sit still, that’s exceptionally foolhardy. Of course, that’s pretty much the traditional way GM’s operated whenever they had a winner…

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      @Kix

      Cruze sales didn’t take a hit when the all-new 2012 Civic came out. Nor did they take a hit when the all-newerer 2013 Civic came out. A new Sentra came out last October for 2013MY as well.

      If they took guidance from the Toyota Corolla, they would let the current generation ride even longer given what Toyota did with the Corolla.

      My guess on the delay is that its exactly as suggested. There might be a new engine or technology being developed that wouldn’t be ready until late 2015 vs late 2014 that made them decide to wait.

      The run 3 shifts at Lordstown….they cranked out 280,000 units in CY 2012 and sold 270,000 units in US/Canada during the same time period– about a 20% fleet rate (comparable to its competitors minus Civic) If sales slip a bit, they can dial production back a bit and still be operating well over 100% utilization on the Cruze while selling it at decent ATP’s and fairly low incentives for its class or they could lift the fleet a bit to keep the overall #’s the same.

      Either way, its hardly a disaster or evidence of something that went ‘badly wrong’

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      At what costs does Toyota sacrifice other models for the Camry to be number one? It can’t happen much longer as there is allot of incentives on Camry.

  • avatar
    brettc

    Glad to hear this news. I’ve seen camouflaged spy shots of the next model and it just looks like a smaller Malibu, which isn’t all that attractive. Since a Cruze might be our next car, it’s good to hear that we’ll have some additional time to save up for a new one with the current body style.

  • avatar
    drifter

    Thanks President Obama for making this happen. If Mitt Romney had won in 2012, these cars would be made in China.

  • avatar
    Power6

    This is big for GM, second best selling car and when the product is a couple years old. It means they brought out something with some lasting appeal. Now if they could do this with a mid sizer…

  • avatar
    chicagoland

    I was expecting most posts to be complaints of “GM delays again…”. Good to see some common sense for once.

    It’s not as if the current car is a 2003 Cavalier, one more year wont matter.

    Regarding wagons, the average family car is decided by a women 60%+ of the time. And they have said repeatedly to the hubby, “no way”. So, no manual diesels ‘estate cars’ coming any time soon.


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