Mumbai: General Motors plans to invest $500 million on its all-new global compact car, the Chevrolet Cruze, being built at its Lordstown, Ohio plant. Later it will also be built in Europe and in the Asia Pacific for sales in the region.
Banking on the demand for small niche cars, the auto maker has increased production of compact cars after a drop in sales of its profitable pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles due to high fuel prices.
Cruze is a four-door car with an arching roof line, extending from the steeply raked windshield to its sloping rear pillars and short rear deck. The car is wider and longer than most of the other cars in the segment, and has wheels at the outer edges of the bodywork.
General Motors chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner said the Cruze, designed and engineered by GM's global teams, will make its European debut at the Paris Motor Show this October.
GM said it plannned to make the Cruze a leader in fuel economy, as it is expected to deliver 40-plus miles to the gallon.
Ed Peper, GMNA vice president of Chevrolet, spoke of GM's strong position in delivering fuel-efficient vehicles that consumers want to buy. ''The Cruze will build on the already successful Chevrolet Cobalt, Cobalt XFE and Cobalt SS, all of which are nearly sold out in dealer showrooms,'' Peper said. ''Our dealers are asking for many more Cobalts than we can build.''
The investment in Lordstown is one of several that have been announced at US plants in the past five years, adding up to over $2 billion total investment in Ohio and more than $20 billion in the United States.
"The Chevrolet Cruze epitomises the global nature of the automobile industry and General Motors' commitment to deliver fuel efficient, high-quality products," GM said in a statement. "Cruze is the result of a development process harnessing GM's global design and engineering expertise. It is the first of a new family of compact Chevrolets that will continue the attention to quality, fuel efficiency, and strong value promise of the highly successful Malibu and all other vehicles under the Chevrolet brand.