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Will GM Get The Compact Car Right?

By Guest

This September, GM plans to roll out it’s next generation of compact cars. Again? Another attempt at the industry segment they just can’t seem to get right? Yes, “General Motors thinks it can finally sell a good small car,” says Tom Krisher of the Associated Press.

Hopefully this will be the case. GM has a long, embattered history with the compact car market. Remember the Geo, or the Corvair? Or more recently the Cobalt? Or what about the old-school Vega? Just the thought of these unsafe heaps makes me cringe.

GM is looking to the Cruze to be its answer. The Cobalt only sold 105,000 copies last year. This pales when compared to the numbers posted by the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. Trust me, GM knows this. They know they are strong in the Truck and SUV segments, but they lose big time when it comes to compact cars.

Is GM out of touch with today’s youth? I mean, really, their average buyer is 51 years old. This could be the reason the Cobalt was so dated and boring and fizzled in the game. We hope they looked at Mitsubishi and Scion, who average a buyer around 40. Their hip, younger models continue to draw the attention of younger drivers.

So what about the Cruze? Is it ready for this segment? Can it hold its own against the others in this tough department? Can it catch the eye of that younger, hip buyer? Let’s see. After all, “They can’t afford to get it wrong,” says Micael Robinet, an automotive analyst with CSM Worldwide in Michigan.

First, we must point out that GM has worked out some production kinks with the Cruze. It is already selling in other countries. Unlike the Cobalt, the Cruze has a smooth transmission and quiet tires. It also gets 40 miles to the gallon. And, even better, they have really lowered production costs, giving them the ability to poor more value into the vehicle.

The Cruze was designed in Korea by Daewoo, a division of GM. It was engineered in Russelsheim, Germany and will be assembled in plants around the world. It is 180 inches long and powered by a new family of direct-injection, turbocharged four-cylinder engines that range from 1.4 liters to 2.0 liters. Recent test drives do show it to be quieter, nimbler, and more robust than anything GM has ever brought to this category.

It may be nicer looking, have a better interior, and pack a better punch that its predecesors, but is is quality? If GM expects younger buyers to look at the Cruze, it will have to compete with the Corolla and the Civic for quality. GM thinks they have this worked out. They plan to invest in quality, saying they have learned people will pay a bit more for superior dependability. They even held up production several months because managers were unhappy with performance.

GM plans to ask around $17,000 for a base model Cruze. Even though this is more than most of the competition, they claim it has a lot more standard features. There will also be a package with leather seats and other gadgets that starts around $22,700.

According to the article by Tom Krisher of the Associated Press, Tom Stephens, GM head of product development, says the company has tried to make sure the Cruze will be better than Corolla and Civic. We will see when it hits the showroom.

Check out for more information on new cars and the auto industry.

categories: cars,car reviews,autos,cars,vehicles,chevrolet,gm

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "Will GM Get The Compact Car Right?." Will GM Get The Compact Car Right?. 3 Jul. 2010. 7 Jan 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Guest, G (2010, July 3). Will GM Get The Compact Car Right?. Retrieved January 7, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Guest, Guest "Will GM Get The Compact Car Right?"

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