GM’s new approach is shown in how it’s handling the inventory of the Chevrolet Cruze

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 13, 2011

General Motors’ new approach is shown in how it is handling the inventory of the Chevrolet Cruze, which is currently the top-selling compact and belongs to the Top 10 sellers. In late November, GM announced that the Cruze plant in Lordstown, Ohio, will be idled for one week to tamp down the growing inventory.

This is a refreshing move because the old GM (before its bankruptcy in 2009) would have overproduced the model and then offered profit-dwindling discounts.

What GM is focused on now are higher prices, better residual values and bigger margins. GM North America President Mark Reuss said that what GM would have done in the past was to “blow through those production schedules and keep [the plants] on.” Dave Green, president of UAW Local 1714, said that this move signifies how different the company is now.

UAW Local 1714 represents workers at GM's stamping plant in Lordstown. He said that in the past, there would be a 150-day supply but there would still be Saturday shifts. He revealed that even its membership believes that this is not the same GM. In the past, the automaker would have overproduced so that it could generate revenue at any cost but in the new G, the legacy costs and the operating costs are reduced.

Exterior Design

Compared to many of its competitors, the Chevrolet Cruze, in terms of dimensions, is both longer and wider. The bodywork has been tightly drawn which helps it show solidity. By making sure that the exterior trim is used in a restrained manner, it improves the high-quality feel of the Cruze. Overall, the Chevrolet Cruze has a look that is clearly all about purposeful precision. This same precision is not limited to the appearance and it can be observed in the build quality. To achieve this, the company needed to retool the body shop at its assembly plant in Lordstown.

Since the goal was to ensure a solid body structure, the body shop utilized the best in welding equipment and body-framing equipment. This strong structure resulted in having minimal variance on the production with the exterior panels having repeatable gap tolerances measuring at most 3 mm. Such qualities benefit the customers greatly as they have a car that is better looking after being purchased and one that continues to be solid even after many years.

Going to the interior, it comes with bold design cues with additional attention given to the details. There is for example the twin-cockpit motif, clearly inspired by the Corvette that is complemented by the excellent assembly tolerances and the utilization of high-quality materials. The interior also shows the use of low-gloss trim panels and the soft-touch and grained components, resulting in a characteristic that is rarely seen in its segment. That the new Cruze is able to avoid any of the expectations from a compact car is evidenced by the instrument panel.

On it are different instruments, all richly detailed, and that have been backlit using LED technology. The use of LED lights gives the analog instruments that fresh and ice-blue lighting, which also serves to light all the other controls in the interior. An interesting feature is the driver information center, which is standard in the Cruze though rare for its class. With this feature, the driver gets access to the large amount of data. The work seen on the exterior is the same as that on its exterior. A highlight of the exterior design is the bold face, where the two-tier grille has the well-known bowtie logo.

This gives that signature look Chevrolet is known for. In order to have the sporty proportion similar to a coupe, it has that arching roofline which connects the fast-sloping rear pillars with the steeply raked windshield. This sporty look is seen as well in the housings of the headlamp that envelo the corners and then go up to the fenders and its sculpted hood.

Being a sports coupe, its rear deck has been made short. In addition to having short overhangs for the front and rear, its wheels are placed in the corners. All of these different features manage to work perfectly well and thus ensure that the Cruze has that confident and wide stance matched by an aggressive appearance.

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