GM to build Chevrolet Cruze at Opel site in Poland, says report

Article by Anita Panait, on June 17, 2013

General Motors Co. will commence building the Chevrolet Cruze at its Opel’s Gliwice site in Poland at the end of 2014, German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing an internal production plan as the source of the information. A spokesman for Chevrolet Europe, however, denied the report, saying that there is yet no decision as to where the next-generation Cruze will be produced.

GM has disclosed that it would shift output of the next-generation Cruze out of South Korea, where the current model is being produced. Reuters reported in January 2012 that GM’s management and workforce were discussing wether to transfer production of the Cruze from South Korea to Poland to lower losses at Opel. South Korean unions welcomed the news negatively and threatened to "wage a war."

The Gliwice site could be a good site to produce Chevrolet’s products since it is the only low-cost Opel plant in Europe. It also produces the Cruze sibling, the Opel Astra. Both models could be produced on one assembly line that would require only a little additional investment. The Cruze is Chevrolet's best-selling model in Europe, with sales up 5 percent to 12,441 units in the first four months of 2012, according to data from JATO Dynamics.

German business daily Handelsblatt said that GM was mulling shifting a huge chunk of the current output of the Opel Mokka subcompact crossover from South Korea to Spain, citing sources privy with the US carmaker. Opel has already disclosed it wil produce the next-generation Mokka in Europe and not in South Korea.

The front end of the Chevrolet Cruze is marked by a two-tier grille with the iconic Bowtie. The new Cruze is also provided with a coupe-like proportion, as defined by its steeply raked windshield, arching roofline and fast-sloping rear pillars.

Moreover, the new Cruze is specified with prominent headlamp housings wrapping around the corners then sweeping upward through its fenders and sculpted hood. Just like sport coupes, the new Chevy Cruze features a short rear, wheels located near the corners as well as minimal front and rear overhangs. These visual elements combine to lend the new Cruze an aggressive appearance and a wide, confident stance. Thanks to its taut, tightly drawn bodywork, the new Cruze looks more solid. Furthermore, Chevrolet’s restrained use of exterior trim has allowed the new Cruze to exude a high-quality appearance.

Meanwhile, the interior of the Chevrolet Cruze is now more spacious, as the vehicle is longer and wider than most of its rivals.

Apparently, precision is the name of the game for the build quality new Chevrolet Cruze. Thanks to the fact that Chevrolet retooled the body shop of its Lordstown assembly plant latest in body-framing and welding equipment, the new Cruze was given a solid body structure. This solid structure encourages minimal production variance, with exterior panels boasting of repeatable gap tolerances of just 3 mm or less. These minimal gaps make the new Cruze look more solid and convey better build quality.

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