North America Will Have to Wait on the (Real) New Chevy Cruze
Fans of the Chevy Cruze can breathe easy. The brand’s hot selling compact sedan is getting a facelift for the upcoming year in North America, but Shanghai GM has one-upped the U.S. by unveiling a newly redesigned generation of the Cruze that for the time being will only be offered in China. At first glance, you’ll notice there are significant styling differences between the two siblings. The Chinese-market Cruze is a completely new car, with a revised front fascia, chopped overhangs, and coupe-inspired flowing lines. It might take some time getting used to, but we’ve already warmed up to it. PHOTOS: See pics of the North American Chevy Cruze
GM Shanghai is offering the new-generation Ecotec 1.4L turbocharged and 1.5L naturally aspirated engines in the latest Cruze, mated to three transmission options: a seven-speed dual-clutch, six-speed manual, and six-speed automated manual. Chevy even expects a 14-21 percent fuel economy improvement over its Chinese predecessor.
North American buyers surely wouldn’t mind that type of efficiency, so why not debut the next-generation here as well? Answer; it’s a matter of market share. The Cruze and other equivalent compact cars equate to nearly 50 percent of the Chinese automotive market.
PHOTOS: See our gallery of the international Chevy Cruze Wagon
To put the vast Chinese market into perspective, GM of China already sold its millionth vehicle of 2014 earlier this month. In comparison, GM is currently about 350,000 vehicles behind back home in the US market.
Eventually the states will receive a new Cruze, but temporarily North American buyers will have to make do with the current model.
PHOTOS: Check out the 2009 Cruze WTCC Car