By on November 30, 2009

Not the best angle...

Just because GM has released photos of the US-spec Cruze ahead of its LA Auto Show debut, doesn’t mean they couldn’t pull an Alfa and change that ridiculous name. After all, Cruze will mark the eightieth name used by GM on a mid-sized or smaller car since 1968, according to our in-house historian. And it’s hardly the kind of name you want to build on, or make part of your company’s heritage. But then, given GM’s small-car history, what is?

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33 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Not Too Late For A Name Change Edition...”


  • avatar
    John Horner

    Be brave GM, call it the Vega II!

  • avatar
    tced2

    The endless string of changing names is indication of the real problem – bad cars used the previous names.  The use of a new name is a way to indicate a newer (better?) model.  GM is constantly looking for that single “home run” model.  But the real way to succeed in the business is to build a good reputation over the years.  A single good model won’t really save them.

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    Here’s a tough one. How many names has the Civic had since its introduction? They had quality problems early on including rust. They just kept refining instead of cost cutting.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Better yet, the Corolla name has been in use since 1966 (though the current cars share little with the original).  And VW has had a Passat since 1973 (though not always in the US).

  • avatar
    dolorean23

    For the Civic? To my knowledge, it was called the Honda 1300 CVCC, which in Americanese became Civic.

    Chevy should stick with the Cobalt name. As less than stellar a car notwithstanding, its still a far better small car player than the pathetically misnomered Cavalier.

    • 0 avatar
      Johnster

      Wrong!  There were Honda Civics before there were CVCC engines.
      The first Honda Civic was introduced to the American market place in mid-1972 and featured a conventional four-cylinder engine.
      The first Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) engine, the ED1, appeared in the 1975 Civic.  Civic CVCCs were built and sold alongside conventional Civics through the 1979 model year.
      Beginning with the 1980 model year, all Civics were CVCCs, but the CVCC name was no was longer used as prominently.  And of course, other Honda models, notable the first Accords, used CVCC engines and carried CVCC badges.

  • avatar
    olivehead

    i stay stick with “cobalt.”  there are a lot on the road and name recognition is fairly high.  at some point chevy is going to have to stop playing the car-name-shuffle, and “cobalt” is as good a place to start as any.

  • avatar
    capdeblu

    GM don’t change the name.  Many of  the Tom Cruise fans will want to buy one.

  • avatar

    Somehow I missed the great job our in house historian did last year. Well worth reading.
    I would say bring back “Corvair” or “Chevelle” or change “Nova” to “Supernova” and go for continuous quality improvement. Or come up with some other really good name. I don’t like Cobalt. Too cold and hard for Chevy, and too much association with an uninspired car.
    But hey, I’m wasting my keystrokes here. GM is a bad bet.

  • avatar
    GrandCharles

    It may refer to the fact that these car will be driven on cruise control most of the time, as in automatic tranny, as in rental fleet queen. A non-enthusiast driving appliance. If you don’t like the name, don’t worry about it it will be gone in 4 year, un less GM let the fruit on the vine a la cavalier (shiver) given they will still be round then…On the bright side, it is still a name not an alphanumeric idiocy…I drive a QWERTYZZ4MGD, not a MVJGDFHJ45X….

  • avatar
    Stingray

    They could use the Cobalt name… or dig in their past and call it Chevy II/Nova.
    Well… Nova, ummm, how many latin people lives in the US?
     

  • avatar
    Lemmy-powered

    “Cruze” sounds so incredibly cheap. Unambitious. Uninspired. It suggests that once again, GM’s small-car sights are set fleet-sales/employee-discounting low.

    Might as well just call it what it really is: the Chevrolet “Whatever”.

    Change the name, build a 3-pedal wagon variant, and make the car bulletproof (figuratively speaking). EARN your way back to the top. 

  • avatar
    porschespeed

    One morning it’ll be in your closet. Next thing you know, Travolta will be there too.

    (Sorry, SouthPark subref I just couldn’t pass by…)

  • avatar
    dropshadow

    If GM really wants the Cruze to stand out from its predecessors, they should get away from any name that starts with a C.

  • avatar
    buzz phillips

    GM always changes names because they are constantly running from their past!    So is
    Chrysler!

  • avatar

    The new Chevy Taxpayer, “you paid for it whether you bought one or not”.

    John

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Toyonda have demonstrated pretty well that it doesn’t matter much what you call it, it’s what you deliver.  Camry? Corolla? Civic? Fit?
    Like wise, if GM continues to underdeliver it won’t matter what they call it.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    A small Chevy doesn’t cruise! It buzzes, is groans, it might even steer, but it doesn’t cruise. Anybody claiming the opposite is guilty of Cruze-fiction.
    (I can’t believe I really posted that).

  • avatar
    mjz

    In honor of the bankruptcy, they could have called it the Chevy Credit.

  • avatar
    dougfixit

    I don’t like the CRUZE name either.  It reminds me of Tom Cruise  and all that nutty Scientology stuff.  Plus there isn’t enough headroom to jump all over the seats.

  • avatar
    p00ch

    I may be in the minority, but I didn’t think Cavalier was a terrible name. Are people really that pissed off about the J cars? I always thought they were acceptable at their price levels.

    • 0 avatar
      Geotpf

      Cavalier is a horrible name.

      cav·a·lier 

      n.

      A gallant or chivalrous man, especially one serving as escort to a woman of high social position; a gentleman.
      A mounted soldier; a knight.
      Cavalier A supporter of Charles I of England in his struggles against Parliament. Also called Royalist.

      adj.

      Showing arrogant or offhand disregard; dismissive: a cavalier attitude toward the suffering of others.
      Carefree and nonchalant; jaunty.
      Cavalier Of or relating to a group of 17th-century English poets associated with the court of Charles I.

      Or, “GM was very cavalier about the design and quality of the Chevy Cavalier.”

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      The Cavalier was a terrible car.  I owned one and spent a year with numerous large problems.  Fix was total replacement of all parts (new car).

  • avatar
    superbadd75

    I don’t think Cobalt is bad, and it’s not ruined like Cavalier. It’s not the best effort, but it’s a decent car. GM should either stick with that and try to build some name equity, or they should pull a name out of the past, Vega or Nova would get my vote.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Yet another sign of old GM. A mediocre product replacing a mediocre product with a new name and different styling. This time around they seem to have got the interior right and optional features that have been available on the Civic and Corolla for years such as NAV, stability control and more than 4 speeds in the transmission are finally here. Too bad the exterior is such a derivative yawner, the name a silly sounding cheap mess and the engines a step back into the 90’s for power output. I mean come on guys 136 HP std and 138 optional with a turbocharger. Todays Cobalt has 155 HP std and 260 on the SS coupe. Speaking of coupes why isn’t one offered in the new Cruze line? Even Kia has one in the Forte Koup.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      Get used to smaller engines.  They are needed to meet the ompg standard – Obama miles per gallon.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The Corolla (except fro the XRS model) has a 1.8L with 132 hp, and it certainly doesn’t have, uhhh, particularly exciting styling.  The base Civic has 140 hp (at 6300 rpm!) and maybe more differentiated styling but less room inside.
       
      So if GM got the interior and product content right, and the build quality is reasonable (yes, I know), I see no reason why it couldn’t sell well.  Remember, the Cruze is not targeted at enthusiasts (or most of the TTAC readers).

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    How about Chevy III, or maybe No Va.

  • avatar
    joeaverage

    Corvair or Cobalt. I agree – quit running away from old product names. Stand your ground and deliver a good product. The Cruze name does sound too much like Tom Cruise and all his friends’ religious lunacy.

  • avatar
    Emro

    GM is going to overlap production of the Cruze with the Cobalt i seem to recall reading in the past… perhaps relegate the Cobalt to rental/fleet duty for a couple years like they have done in the past with the Malibu.


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