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Chevrolet Cruze Production Commences

September 9, 2010 by Matt Keegan

General Motors North America President Mark Reuss and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland are shown at the Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant where the first of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruzes have rolled out.

GM#8217;s long-awaited compact sedan, the Chevrolet Cruze, is now in production. The automaker announced on Wednesday that assembly of the Cruze has begun, with the first models completed and on their way to dealerships across the country.

The Cruze, a five-passenger sedan first introduced as the Daewoo Lacetti Premier in 2008, then as the Holden Cruze in 2009 and finally as a Chevrolet model, replaces the Cobalt, itself a replacement for the Chevrolet Cavalier, its longest running compact model.

Production Goals

At its zenith, GM produced more than 400,000 units of the Cavalier during the 1980s.[1] Though GM hasn#8217;t announced production goals, winning half that amount from the onset seems reasonable, but attaining loftier sales goals will likely come by poaching current Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic owners.

Indeed, GM is targeting Toyota and Honda directly with the new Cruze, urging Chevrolet dealers to purchase a Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic and offering them as test drive comparisons with the Chevrolet Cruze. GM believes that customers will find the Cruze a better overall value, offering ten airbags, more power, better fuel economy and a larger cabin than its competitors.

Marketing Push

None of this will come easy despite the apparent edge the Cruze delivers for Chevrolet. Already the top-selling Chevy car model worldwide (the Silverado truck is still first), the Cruze has to convince a new generation of car buyers that this vehicle is everything that it claims to be.

GM has hired Tim Allen, the one-time star of TV#8217;s Home Improvement and current movie star, to lend his voice to Cruze ads.

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“Tim Allen brings the right combination of a recognizable voice with the credibility, likeability and humor that will connect with viewers,” said Joel Ewanick, vice president, U.S. marketing, General Motors.  “His passion for all things cars makes him the perfect match for the Chevrolet brand.”

Allen is from the Detroit area and is also a car collector. His collection includes a 1996 Chevrolet LT5 Impala SS and a 2000 Cadillac DeVille DTSi, cars he had a hand in designing himself.[2]

Cruze Highlights

Chevrolet will equip the Cruze with 1.4-liter turbocharged or a fuel injected 1.8-liter four cylinder engine paired with six-speed automatic or manual transmissions.  GM says that the Cruze is the best equipped car in its class, offering certain amenities such as Bluetooth connectivity as standard equipment and the only car in its class with 10 airbags.[3]

The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze#8217;s base price is from $16,995.

Source: General Motors Company

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