Cruze Hype Falls Down Under

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The Freep has dubbed Chevy’s Next Big Small Thing a “hit” on the grounds that it’s big in Australia. The only problem? It’s not really selling all that well. Towards the bottom of its write-up, the Freep reveals that GM’s Holden division sold 4,826 of the US-bound Cruze in the last three months. Center for Automotive Research president David Cole reckons those numbers “kind of give you a clue as to what the potential could be” when the Cruze arrives stateside. If that’s true, the Cruze is a loser. Not only has Toyota sold 7,550 Cruze-class Corollas in the last two months, the Mazda3 and Hyundai i30 are also the segment’s fastest growers.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Ton12 (of GM) Ton12 (of GM) on Sep 18, 2009

    "Perhaps, but in this class, the best-driving car isn’t necessarily the best seller. Cases in point: the Mazda 3 and VW Rabbit. If you drive the cars in this class (and I have), you’ll find both are radically better drivers’ cars than the big sellers in this segment. And yet, the two dullest drives – the Corolla and Civic – rule the sales charts. Go figure." That one is easy to figure. Shoppers in this class mostly want fuel economy and reliaibility. Mazda 3 is not great in MPG compared to sub-compacts, and the the Rabbit/golf never has been reliable. But I think you already answered you question: Those that want a fun car to drive (smaller part of this shopping class) will go with VW or Mazda.

  • TonyJZX TonyJZX on Sep 19, 2009

    if you buy a cruze over a Ford Focus you are nuts granted Ford aren't great at marketing their strengths here and the current south african made Focus isn't all that great... but what small car is all that great?

  • FreedMike FreedMike on Sep 19, 2009
    PeteMoran : September 18th, 2009 at 10:18 am The sales are artificial for two reasons; new model hype (such as it can be for a rebadged Daewoo), and cash-on-the-hood. ...and speaking of "cash on the hood," you do realize that GM's not the only manufacturer doing that, right?*#toyota The Corolla, the best selling compact in America, also carries a rebate. The second best seller, the Honda Civic, has cash on the hood in the form of special financing and leases (my mom just bought one and got a phenomenal lease rate). Why are we trashing GM for doing what every other manufacturer does?
  • Pch101 Pch101 on Sep 19, 2009
    Why are we trashing GM for doing what every other manufacturer does? It's apples and oranges. Domestic incentives are well above anything offered by Toyota or Honda: There's no comparison, and you're being disingenuous in your efforts to equate the two. The key for success for the Cruze is for it to be reliable and agreeable to drive. That isn't nearly enough. If GM wants to restore its reputation quickly to that of the good ol' days, then it needs to make best-in-class cars. Not just average, but clearly outstanding, so that the consumer believes that it is worth taking a risk. GM does seem to be making real strides with interiors, which is good. But this car has been almost universally panned for the motor. Even for buyers who aren't enthusiasts, a mediocre engine is going to be a turnoff, because the responsiveness and sonic qualities of the motor are important in forming impressions of perceived quality. A company with a reputation for poor quality can't afford that. The domestic fans need to realize that "good enough" isn't. To rise back to the top, they need to be the best and prove themselves, year in and year out, until buyers have their trust restored. Part of that will require having a best-in-class four-cylinder normally aspirated gas engine, and GM doesn't have any such thing to offer to North Americans.