GM delays launch of next-gen Chevy Cruze on engineering changes

Article by Anita Panait, on July 19, 2013

General Motors has postponed the rollout of the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze by a year due to engineering modifications as well as its desire to sell more of the outgoing model, people familiar with the carmaker’s plans told Reuters. GM initially intended to start building the next-generation Cruze in late 2014, but has shifted it to December 2015, according to the sources.

Canadian Auto Workers union leaders at a Cooper Standard Automotive site in Stratford, Ontario, have already disclosed the delay to members. CAW Local 4451 Chairwoman Karen Fleming said in a newsletter issued in April that it was disappointing to learn the Chevy Cruze program “has been pushed back a year and will not start until 2015." GM has said that the next-generation Cruze will be completely redesigned inside and out.

GM said the vehicle will have a larger trunk and roomier passenger compartment as well as better fuel economy. GM posted a 17-percent increase in Cruze sales in the US in the first six months of the year to almost 134,000. The model was also the second-best selling passenger car in the US next to Toyota Camry.

The Cruze was launched in 2009, and will be the oldest GM model by the end of 2013. A supplier source told Retuers that GM wants to make sure the next-generation Cruze "does break through the clutter" better than the new Chevrolet Malibu.

Chevrolet Cruze sports a design that is distinguishable by an aggressive face, which includes a two-tier grille with the brand's iconic Bowtie logo. In fact, this is Chevrolet's signature look worldwide. Its arching roofline bridges its steeply raked windshield and its fast-sloping rear pillars, giving it a sporty and coupe-like proportion.

This sporty aesthetic can also be detected in the car's prominent headlamp housings, which wrap around its corners then sweep upward in its fenders and its sculpted hood, and in its short rear deck, which sports coupes typically exhibit. Moreover, the wheels are pushed out to the corners, with as little front and rear overhangs as possible. All the elements cohesively work together in order to give the Chevrolet Cruze a bold look complemented by a wide and confident stance.

Compared to its competitors, the Chevrolet Cruze is longer and wider. It also has a tightly drawn and taut bodywork that expresses solidity, as well as a controlled use of exterior trim that enhances the Cruze's high-quality feel. As a result, the car has a purposefully precise overall appearance.

You can also see precision in the quality of the Cruze's build. In fact, the body shop of the carmaker's assembly plant in Lordstown has been retooled with the latest welding and body-framing equipment in order to optimize building a solid body structure. This strong structure promotes minimal production variance as well as repeatable gap tolerances of up to 3 mm between most exterior panels. This means better-looking car for customers when new, yet also one that feels solid in the years to come.

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