Chevy Cancels US-Market Plans For Orlando Compact MPV

chevy cancels us market plans for orlando compact mpv

Chevrolet has had a difficult time deciding if its Cruze-based MPV, known as the Orlando, is a good fit for the US-market. Initially, Chevy debuted the Orlando concept at the Paris auto show, and said it had no plans for a US-market version. Then it was approved for the US ahead of the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, and now, according to Automotive News [sub], it’s off again. The (up to) seven-passenger MPV, built on GM’s “Delta II” compact architecture will be sold in Europe, Asia, and even Canada… just not in the US. Chevy spokesfolks explain:

The best thing to do for Chevrolet is to focus on the brands we’ve already brought to market: the Traverse, Equinox, Malibu and, soon to come, the Cruze. We feel that with those vehicles, Chevrolet has plenty of options for the modern family.

Of course, Chevy sells all three of those vehicles in Canada as well… so how are these three options “plenty” for US consumers, but not for our friendly neighbors to the North?

According to AN [sub], GM’s most vaunted “car guy” executive (now that Bob Lutz has hit the dusty trail) Mark Reuss made the move to cancel a US-market Orlando… but why? The short answer: GM’s product pipeline is jammed with compact-to-midsize crossover/MPVs. With Chevy, Buick and GMC versions of the Delta-II MPV as well as possible Buick-GMC versions of a Gamma II-platform (Aveo) MPV planned, GM had a lot of products to fit between the more-MPV-like Aveo and the Theta-platform crossovers (Equinox, Terrain) in its 2012 lineup. By offering a seven-seat compact MPV in the US, GM would be creating competition for the more profitable Theta and Lambda (Enclave, Traverse, Acadia) crossovers… and that’s the good scenario. The bad scenario would be the Orlando selling at Mazda5 levels.

And then there’s one more crucial consideration: with a Volt MPV5 being shown at the Beijing Auto Show, there’s a good chance the five-seat plug-in is coming to the US. And because the MPV5 looks so much like an Orlando with a Volt grille slapped on, GM’s planners might have thought that the MPV5 would be more successful in the US as a plug-in -only model. And maybe they’re right. Still, the Orlando is one of the more compelling (if awfully named) vehicles to be teased by GM of late… we can’t say we’re thrilled to see the US-version canceled.

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  • Gsnfan Gsnfan on May 04, 2010

    If it had the stickshift and the sliding doors, it could compete with the Mazda5. They don't sell well, but if gas prices spike, then people will trade their Siennas, Odysseys, and Grand Caravans (and possibly their Highlanders, Pilots, and Lambdas) for something like this.

  • Cheezeweggie Cheezeweggie on May 04, 2010

    GM still doesn't want to sell small cars. They don't ever make them money, and they are always crap anyway. The Japanese and Hyundai have that market cornered. I dont think I'd want anything designed by Gm Korea (Daewoo) anyway.

  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.
  • Daniel J I believe anyone, at any level, should get paid as much as the market will bear. Why should CEOs have capped salaries or compensation but middle management shouldn't? If companies support poor CEOs and poor CEOs keep getting rewarded, it's up to the consumer and investors to force that company to either get a better CEO or to reduce the salary of that CEO. What I find hilarious is that consumers will continue to support companies where the pay for the CEOs is very high. And the same people complain. I stopped buying from Amazon during the pandemic. Everyone happily buys from them but the CEO makes bank. Same way with Walmart and many other retailers. Tim Cook got 100m in compensation last year yet people line up to buy Iphones. People who complain and still buy the products must not really care that much.