GM in talks to shift Cruze and other Chevrolet models to Europe

Article by Anita Panait, on January 13, 2012

General Motors Co. is in talks with unions on transferring the production of some Chevrolet models from South Korea to Europe, as part of its European turnaround strategy, people privy to the IG Metall union told Reuters.

During the meeting between GM and union leaders, they talked about an idea to transfer production of Chevrolet Cruze to Opel’s plant in Gliwice, Poland, while assembly of the Astra compact in the site will be shifted to other factories in Western Europe, sources added. 

Another proposal was to shift production of the Chevrolet Orlando crossover to Opel's Bochum, Germany. Former Opel union boss Klaus Franz told Automotive News Europe in December 2011 that IG Mettall wants Chevrolet Captiva and the Opel Antara to be built in Bochum.  Opel has been considering closing its Bochum plant, which produces the Zafira minivan. 

Franz commented that GM should build the Agila subcompact in Gliwice, instead in South Korea as planned.  GM is currently producing the Agila at Suzuki's site in Hungary.

The plan is aimed at making the company’s European plants more efficient. In exchange, GM could push ahead with its cost-cutting plan to reverse the situation at Opel, which has posted losses of around $13 billion since 1999.

Chevy Cruze has a unique design marked by an assertive face featuring the internationally-known trademark Chevrolet two-tier grille with Bowtie brand logo. The roofline is arched to flow from the slope of the windshield to that of the rear pillars, forming a sporty silhouette reminiscent of a coupe.

The sporty design is also expressed through the pronounced headlamp housings which contour around the corners and move upward in the fenders and moulded bonnet. The short rear deck is also a coupe design adaptation. Very short overhangs place the wheels almost at the very corners. Together, these elements combine to provide the Chevrolet Cruze with a solidly bold overall appearance, underlined by its broadly confident stance.

Compared to others in its segment, the new Cruze is dimensionally larger. Exteriorly, its body has a rigidly tight construction with appropriately reserved trimmings that heighten its qualitative appeal. The car’s general impression is that of resolute precision.

New Cruze’s build quality also reflects precision. Its external shell is made in the Lordstown assembly plant body shop, which underwent extensive retooling. It now has highly advanced body-framing and welding equipment to ensure the construction of an extremely solid body that minimises production variance. Repeatable gap tolerances between most exterior panels are maintained below 3 mm. A customer will therefore notice that the car appears cleaner and better and will appreciate the solid feel even throughout the years.

Refined cabin

The Chevrolet Cruze also applies the bold design aesthetic and meticulous details within its cabin. The twin cockpit has a design adapted from the Chevrolet Corvette, featuring premium-grade materials and supreme workmanship. Grained, soft-touch components and low-gloss trim panels provide an elegant ambience rare in the car’s segment.

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