GM’s new-product drive in Brazil bearing fruits

Article by Anita Panait, on October 25, 2012

It seems that General Motors Co.’s assertive new-product drive in Brazil is really paying off as the carmaker’s Chevrolet Cruze compact cars has become one of the hottest items in the country this year. Chevrolet dealerships in Brazil are feeling the heat too. Nessim Azar, an owner of some Chevrolet dealerships in Sao Paulo, told Bloomberg that the Chevrolet Cruze is very popular.

In fact, Azar’s showrooms were able to sell 100 Cruze compact cars in September. GM rolled out the Cruze in Brazil late last year as part of its most aggressive new-product thrust ever in the country, as well as part of its plans to become profitable again in South America.

The GM’s effort is underscored by seven new vehicles available for sale in 2012, including the subcompact Onix will be show at the Sao Paulo auto show this week. Gustavo Colossi, Chevrolet marketing director for Brazil, told Bloomberg that this is the first time they are selling seven new vehicles in one year.

GM is hoping that its new-product push in Brazil would allow it to turn around its operations in South America as soon as possible, as sales situation in other markets like the crisis-laden Europe and slumping China begin to eat to affect its profits.

Currently, GM is banking on its strong performance in the US to remain profitable. Brazil accounted for 58 percent of GM’s sales in South America in the first half of 2011. GM’s South American operations posted $122 million in operating losses in 2011 after logging an $818 million profit in 2010.

The new Chevy Cruze features a design which imposes a strong and bold face. These include a two-tier grill highlighted with the famous Bowtie logo which has become Chevrolet’s worldwide signature look. To give it a sporty and coupe-like proportion, its arching roofline also connects a sharply raked windshield combined with a pair of rear pillars which are fast-sloping.

This sporty feel extends as well to the well-known headlight housings wrapped all over the corners while sweeping upward the sculpted hood and fenders. It features as well a short back deck which is common to sports cars. Its wheels in the corners also highlight minimal front and back overhangs. All of these elements work together in order to give this new model an asserting look which is complemented well with a wide and confident stance.

Chevrolet Cruze sure is longer and wider than the rest of its competitions. Its bodywork which is tense and tightly drawn carry out solidity while confined use of the exterior trim helps enhance the high-quality feel of the car and its whole look is of meaningful precision. This precision extends as well to the car’s build quality.

To perfectly modify the production of a fortified body structure, the assembly plant’s body shop in Lordstown was revamped with new welding and body-framing equipment in order to optimize a well-fortified body structure. This structure adopts minimal variance in production as well as a 3 mm or less reiterated gap tolerances between most of the exterior panels. These all add up to make a fine-looking car while at the same give it a retro feel.

Topics: gm, brazil

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