Is The Cruze In Trouble?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
is the cruze in trouble

When GM introduced the Chevrolet Cruze to the market some three months ago, it wasn’t just launching a car, it was trying to change one of its most persistent perception problems. GM managers know that their firm has never built a memorably successful compact car, a fact that was underlined by President Obama’s bailout-era question “why can’t they build a Corolla?” The Cruze was supposed to change all that, but a short three months after its launch, even the hometown cheerleaders at the Detroit Free Press are beginning to wonder if GM is “running out of time to kick Cruze sales into high gear.” After all, the Cruze was just fifth on the C-Segment sales chart last month, losing out to such aging offerings as the Civic, Corolla, Focus and Elantra, all of which are due to be replaced within the next 3 to 12 months. And since the Crue took its time getting to the US market, one analyst concludes

As a result of having been in production two years, it will age more quickly. The relevance in the market is one of the things consumers are willing to pay premium for

This seems to reinforce the conclusion drawn by the WSJ’s Dan Neil who wrote of the Cruze

But I’m sorry to say Chevrolet’s compact car of tomorrow feels more like its car of this afternoon, about 3:48 p.m. This is a car of quickly expiring market advantages.

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  • Ciddyguy Ciddyguy on Dec 11, 2010

    If the Cruze is selling out here in Washington St, who knows as if I see them, I'm not aware of what they are as they seem to be blending in mighty well with all the other 4 door sedans on the road. :-) That said, I'm starting to see more Fiestas on the road without even trying. On Tuesday coming home early not feeling well, spotted TWO of them, both hatchbacks at that. A red one at the parking garage where I work (clearly very new as no plates on it yet), the other parked on the street w/ the owner either putting in or getting out something from the back end, in blue. As others have said, in this economy, cars are not flying off showroom/dealer lots as quickly overall so cars like the Fiesta and Cruze may take a little while to ramp up sales speed, but the real test is, are they selling reasonably close to MSRP or are they heavily discounted? That's the real question as both seem to be priced as premium models for their respective classes.

  • Ozzy Modo Ozzy Modo on Dec 11, 2010

    Looks like a nice enough car. In all seriousness, I have never seen an ad for one. Never. I've been waiting to see one on the road, and have not.

  • Shaker Shaker on Dec 12, 2010

    The Cruze is an iPod/Bluetooth 20k interface on wheels (as is the 18k Fiesta). Consumer Reports reviewed the Fiesta, and gave it mediocre marks, far below the Honda Fit. If the Cruze is too far behind the current Civic/Corolla, then it's got a tough hill to climb, even if it's got solid "bones" (as does the Fiesta). "Toys" do not a $20k+ car make, at least in the "B" and "C" segments. Edit: The upcoming Focus (as good as it's predicted to be) will also test this theory -- a hatchback equipped to my liking (with the 6spd auto) touched $25k - into well-equipped midsize sedan territory.

  • Oosh Oosh on Dec 12, 2010

    For all you hatchback lovers, Holden are starting full-scale local production of one next year, they're also changing the engine (we don't get the 1.4T here yet), and I can only hope the apocalyptically awful auto box too.