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Click above for high-res gallery of the 2011 Chevy Cruze

The 2011 Chevy Cruze is a big deal. It's not Tom Cruise big, but when was the last time GM offered a truly competitive small car? The Cobalt has been around since 2005, and the Cavalier dates back to 1982. So it's been at least 26 years of Chevy offering a back of the pack small car. The Cruze is a bit different, having been developed not by GM's designers and engineers in North America, but by its European and Asia Pacific teams. It will debut at the Paris Motor Show in October and go on sale in Europe and Asia next year. About a year after that the Cruze will go on sale in the U.S., and that version will be built at GM's plant in Lordstown, OH. GM CEO Rick Wagoner was at the plant today to announce a $500 million investment in its U.S. operations to build the Cruze here, with more than $350 million earmarked for the Lordstown plant where the current Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5 are built.

The Lordstown plant will likely build the new Cruze side-by-side with the Cobalt and G5 for a while until the latter two are phased out. It rides on GM's new compact Delta platform, which itself will eventually underpin a number of new products including the highly anticipated Volt, the next-gen Astra and an upcoming MPV to replace the Euro-only Zafira that's likely coming to the U.S., as well.

Two live shots of the Cruze from today's announcement from GM's Lordstown plant have been added to the gallery.

[Source: GM]


GM Announces $500 Million Investment For New Small Car

New Chevrolet Cruze to be built in Lordstown, Ohio

Lordstown, OHIO – General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner today announced that the company will invest more than $500 million in the U.S. to build the Chevrolet Cruze, an all-new global compact car. The vehicle will be built at its Lordstown, Ohio plant. The Chevy Cruze will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in a few short weeks. In a surprise move, the investment announcement was accompanied by a glimpse of the Cruze life-size show property.

The investment in Lordstown is one of several that have been announced at U.S. 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. "One of the key reasons for the success of the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 is the Lordstown workforce and the strong partnerships with the UAW and local and state officials," Wagoner said. "Based on the quality of work and these strong partnerships, we are pleased to announce our plans to invest another $500 million in the Chevy Cruze product program in the U.S., including more than $350 million in Lordstown."

Ed Peper, GMNA vice president of Chevrolet, spoke to 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."

Chevrolet Cobalt sales are up 16 percent, year-to-date through July 2008, with an impressive 33 miles-per-gallonhighway. The new Cobalt XFE model jumps to 37 miles-per-gallon and is selling almost as soon as it's unloaded from the delivery trucks to dealerships.

The Chevrolet Cruze epitomizes the global nature of the automobile industry and General Motors' commitment to deliver fuel efficient, high-quality products. 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.

"The Chevrolet Cruze was designed and engineered by our global teams in Europe and Asia Pacific and will be manufactured in those regions in addition to the assembly plant here in Lordstown, Ohio," Wagoner said. "Our goal for the Chevrolet Cruze is to lead in fuel economy in this very competitive car segment."

The new Cruze will be launched in Europe and Asia Pacific next year. It's scheduled to make its European debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      holy crap, what's with the ginormous Ohio license plate? that would mean the car is what, 3' wide?

      Seriously, would it have been THAT hard to just photoshop out the euro plate first, then put in a true-to-scale US plate? VS scaling a US plate up so that it covers the euro plate?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think that was the joke. . .
        • 6 Years Ago
        There's a word for terribly resized images-tacky.

        There's a term for how to fix it- aspect ratio.

        To whoever hates this car: Come to reality that GM is rising up and is making cars that can actually compete with the foreign competition.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Torrent, this still can't touch the Mazda 3 in terms of finish for the price. The 3 just exudes a certain level of luxury that this car completely lacks. I think it's the headlights that make most of the difference, and something about the curves.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Torrent, I don't think I'd be throwing stones. It sounds like YOU'RE the one judging a car before it has even come out. I'd say it's more a stretch to predict that the successor to the Cavalier/Cobalt will be class-competitive than to guess it won't quite measure up to the Mazda3.

        Free thinking doesn't equate to GM hatred-- some of us just won't blindly swallow every dish on the Bowtie menu. The Cruze doesn't appear to be a bad car, but it's far from a definite world-beater.
        • 6 Years Ago
        i have seen the interior shots of the cruze, and i can say that this car is a winner. Of course i wouldn't be able to tell about fit and finish but i heard that it was designed in Korea so it should be better than most cars detroit rolls out...
      • 6 Years Ago
      umm does the back remind you of euro-spec civic?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Woah, too much credit comparing this to a Honda. I was thinking the taillights look like the headlights on a Sebring; front fenders remind me of the new Focus~ two terribly ugly cars.

        The grille works nicely and overall it looks better than the Focus and Sebring. Good luck GM, but its not a Civic.
        • 6 Years Ago
        good catch.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Either that car is really really tiny, or that's a big license plate!
        • 6 Years Ago
        ROFL LMAO! That is indeed a bad case of photoshop.
      • 6 Years Ago
      2011? Geez, I wish they'd stop putting out new car annoucements so far ahead. I think it's making me age faster.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's going to be on sale in Europe next year.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Put the '08 Cobalt SS turbo engine in it, please?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this a hatchback?

      It's rather bland looking.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Those who remember GM's small car disasters will wait a year or two to see what shakes out. Or falls off. Or rusts through.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks pretty clean and handsome to me, but will there be a hatch? Or do we have to wait for the next-gen Saturn Astra for that?
      • 6 Years Ago
      The car is going to suffer the same fate as the previous edition of the Malibu and the Ford Taurus! People do not like the idea of cutting off the truck deck-lid. Look at what is happening to the Sebring. The front looks awesome, but the rear os horrible. It gives the impression that there is no trunk; Americans don't like that. If you are going to sell a hatchback, make it a hatchback. I hope GM is listening, and they should fire whoever green lighted this stillborn!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Americans don't all like the same things.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I didn't see it mentioned in the other post, but how come no one is harping about the huge black plastic pieces at the C-pillars?

      Everyone cried "LAME" when Mazda did it to the new 6, but it's okay for GM?
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's okay on both. I actually find the double-cut to be worse than the black triangle. The triangle is probably metal, by the way. Not that it matters much.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I dont recall the mazda but as for this, it flows nice with the car, Add some tint to the back windows and it would look great but it dont look THAT bad clear either. Def add tint to make it proper though
        • 6 Years Ago
        Glad I wasn't the only one seeing a blanked-off plastic "window" insert. Inspired by Chrysler's Sebring? That's got to be a first.

        Overall, the car does look pretty good, but boy, does the auto press have a stoner's short-term memory when it comes to the Cobalt. The 2005 model prompted all kinds of fanfare about GM's new "premium" compact, how Lutz had spared no engineering expense this time around, how its design incorporated features revealed by dissecting Mk. IV Jettas. Now it's being trashed to hype up the "next big thing," which is exactly what the Cobalt was supposed to be.

        I agree the Cruze looks promising, but read a few buff-book back issues from 2005 before chugging too much press-release Kool-aid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        um, $30k midsize sedan versus $15k econobox. Nuff said.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The stupid people who post here remind me way too much of my client base. Maybe I've seen them before...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I live in ohio, and If GM is going to sell this car, they need it here within a year. I just saw this car in a GM ad in my local newspaper. Teasing the public and then waiting too long has the opposite effect.
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