GM Delays Cruze for "Flawless" Launch, Sees Sales Spurt

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

The Detroit News reports that GM is delaying the launch of the Chevrolet Cruze. The nationalized automaker’s next big—I mean small thing will now hit U.S. showrooms in the third quarter of 2010. In theory. GM’s explanation for the delayed denouement: it wants to ensure “a flawless launch.” Given GM’s on-again, of-again product planning chaos, and their failure to get enough Buick LaCrosses on the ground, you’ve got to wonder why they would set themselves up for failure with talk of perfection. Oh right; the automotive media has the memory of a goldfish. Meanwhile, the company’s camp followers can take heart in New GM’s new determination to get things right—while those of us who’ve heard it all before sigh, shake our heads and say “Flawless. Yeah right.” No matter how you slice it, the Cruze’s failure to set sail by the advertising for-sale date isn’t news to gladden investors’ hearts. After all, the ur-Cruze (the Korean Lacetti) debuted on October 30, 2008. The EU-Cruze has been plying European roadways since February. The delay means the Cruze will not arrive before GM’s kinda maybe sorta I know we said we would but tempus fugit mid-2010 IPO. Between now and then, stand back! GM’s predicting a sales spurt!

GM said it anticipates its October vehicle sales will rise compared to a year earlier, the first such increase for the automaker in 21 months.

Mike DiGiovanni, GM’s director of global market analysis, pointed to improving economic conditions, including a return to more normal credit markets, increased manufacturing and demand for new GM vehicles such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox, as reasons for being cautiously optimistic.

October sales will be released Tuesday. GM sales dropped 45 percent last month and have fallen 36.4 percent this year.

“We know we are not out of the woods yet,” he told reporters during a conference call.

And there’s your new media meme: things are bad, but they’re getting better and they’ll be more better later. Eventually. Hang on; isn’t that the old meme?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Argentla Argentla on Oct 30, 2009

    The thing that makes me nervous about the high content levels is wondering how much GM has cut corners elsewhere to pay for it (GM cut corners? Say it ain't so, Joe!). I'm thinking of stuff like, oh, the 1990s H-body cars (Bonneville/Le Sabre/Eighty-Eight), which had every electronic toy known to man at that time, but brakes apparently borrowed from a Cavalier. Add to this GM's usual affection for small cars, and this doesn't exactly seem like a confidence-inspiring choice in a market filled with competent rivals.

  • ZekeToronto ZekeToronto on Oct 30, 2009

    rnc: Thanks--glad to hear I'm not the only one put off by the ugly treatment of the logo!

  • Probert A few mega packs would probably have served as decent backup.
  • Lou_BC Lead sleds. Now-a-days GM would just use Bondo.
  • Jrhurren This is a great series. Thanks Corey
  • Tane94 Not as stylish as the Soul which it is replacing but a practical shape and bonus points for EV only.
  • Ronin What is the magical white swan event in the foreseeable future that will suddenly reverse the trend?Success tends to follow success, and likewise failure. The perception, other than among true believers, is that e-cars are a lost cause. Neither government fiat, nor government bribery, nor even the promise of superior virtue among one's peers have been enough to push past the early adapter curve. Either the bust-out is right now for e-cars, or it doesn't happen. Marketing 101.Even subtle language-manipulation, such as deeming those possessing common sense as suffering from some sort of vague anxiety (eg, "range anxiety") has not been enough to induce people to care.Twenty years from now funny AI-generated comedians will make fun of the '20s, and their obsession with theose silly half-forgotten EVs. They will point out that, yes, EVs actually ran on electricity generated by such organic fuels as coal and natural gas after all, and then they will perform synthesized laughter at us.