Production of General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet Cruze compact car with the optional RS appearance package began only last week. Output was delayed by over three weeks due to quality issues that the company declined to identify.
GM spokeswoman Lesley Hetting said that production was scheduled to start at GM's plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in early October.
She explained that production was “held off until it was perfect” because the company wanted to make sure that the vehicle meets standards.
GM is hoping that the Cruze would enable it to gain ground on Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. in the compact car segment.
For the month of October (the first month that the car had been in showrooms), GM was able to sell 5,048 Cruze units – considerably lower than Toyota’s sales (18,636 Corolla units) and Honda’s sales (17,121 Civics).
At a sales conference call last week, Don Johnson, the automaker's vice president of US sales, said that the Cruze is "the workhorse" that will carry GM. Johnson said that Cruze will be the “game-changer” in its goal to be strong in the low-end segment of cars.
He didn’t give specific sales targets but he said that GM aims to “significantly increase” Cruze deliveries beginning November as dealers build inventories. [via autonews - sub. required]