According to Australia's Drive, Holden boss Mark Reuss has confirmed that General Motors' Australian outpost will produce a hatchback version of the Cruze sedan that it shares with Chevrolet.
The liftback will apparently be very much an Aussie product, with research and development being carried out Down Under, and there are plans to assemble the model at Holden's South Australian plant beginning in the fall of 2010. Critically, it's being built with foreign markets in mind, so that could mean that the model might find its way to North American shores, although const constraints would likely make such things difficult on such a low-cost model.
As it has here in the States, GM has halted importation of the European-built Astra into Australia due to cost concerns, and it also stopped selling the Korean-built Viva (a rebadged Daewoo Lacetti) earlier in 2009.
Interestingly, Drive suggests that the Cruze hatch model could be an upmarket stablemate to the sedan model, with different steering and suspension tunings, along with unique styling. While that sounds enticing, a higher-cost hatchback model might not go well with America's historically hatchback-averse marketplace, leading us to doubt that the car will eventually be offered Stateside.
As of yet, there are no official plans to build a version of the hatchback domestically in Chevrolet's Lordstown, Ohio plant where the Cruze sedan will be assembled.