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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.

[Source: Drive.com.au]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "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."

      It might if they made it the sports tuned version. Honda sold the fifth generation Civic Si here in the US, with the vehicle itself assembled in England.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Civic Si sold poorly, not due to being a hatch, but from Honda competing against itself. The Si was detuned for the US/Canada so it wouldn't erode sales of the Acura RSX.
      • 5 Years Ago
      american's didn't love hatchbacks, when the only hatchbacks were hyundais or LeCars.
      american's didn't love hatchbacks when the SUV craze hit.

      american's are lots of different people, and they have lots of different tastes. i like hatchbacks, they are useful and usually not as long as a wagon variant.

      sure there are people that HATE hatchbacks, but there are also people that like to shoot skateboards at their genitals using an airbag.
      • 5 Years Ago
      when they say hatchback, id expect something like the Holden tt36 torana concept from a few years ago, in fact it might be called the Torana as its a historic nameplate for Holden. the original torana was showing off the upcoming zeta platform and interior as well as styling of the VE commodore (although cheekily the actual concept was built off the premium cadillac sigma platform). The concept was smaller than the commodore and had a trunk/hatchback look like the skoda octavia and used the 3.6L global v6 (hence TT36). The new car will be smaller still and obviously FWD Delta based rather than RWD and aim to steal some sales from the semi-premium sub-midsize cars that are doign well in australia now like the golf, civic, mazda3, etc. ie: cars that are better than base corollas and hyundai/kia's but not big/luxurious enough to breach higher segments of the market. The have been rumours of holden developing a low cost indipendent rear suspension (a la ford "control blade" which was developed by ford australia and subsequently used on the ford focus by ford EU) for the car to replace the outdated cheap torsion bar setup of the cruze and 2010 astra. So pretty much we're looking at a car that improves on the cruze and astra while having a compromise between the hatchback and saloon body styles. nice
      • 5 Years Ago
      Would we like to see it come to North America? Yes. Would it sell well? Yes. Will it happen? Has the same chances as our seeing the Sirocco or Focus ST...
      • 5 Years Ago
      A hatchback would round out the Cruze line. It will at least help in European sales.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Despite my savage hatred for GM i have to say the Cruze looks good and has potential, now the hatchback's success is dependent upon a few points.

      Back look - very important that GM/Holden doesnt crap this one up, the front is beautiful, they need to make the back pretty, nothing too elaborate cuz it will wind up like the mazda 3 which starts out good but is ruined by its wagon profile and busy rear end arrangement

      Interior quailty - ive had only a few GMs and they werent all that great for interior quailty, having said that ive noticed a lotta imports sliding in quality i wont mention specific makes and models cuz its just gunna start a different argument

      price - obvious, its gotta be competitive, if its overpriced they will have a hard time competing, they can claim all they want, the fact of the matter is that ppl see it as a cav/cobalt replacement (even tho i know its entirely new, most ppl wont know that) so the price must be appealing in those commercial to put ppl in the showrooms

      reliability - that goes back to the cav/cobalt/sunfire thing, the GM image is tainted, you must give ppl somethin they will drive with pride, and stop relying to this flag-waving proud domestic driver BS cuz its not gunna cut it anymore.

      those are the things that GM should do, what will likely happen is that it will be another cav/cobalt/sunfire fiasco....but even tho im a GM hater i hope that the cruze does well for them, its a great looking car...
      • 5 Years Ago
      This will make a LOT of people happy if so.
      • 5 Years Ago
      GIven the titanic success that was the Saturn Astra in America, I have a feeling GM is in no rush to build a hatchback version of the Cruze here.
        • 5 Years Ago
        yeah, because the 3 is an obvious dud.
        AB pointed out the Vibe is a hit.

        IDK how many PT cruisers were sold. HHRs are getting pretty popular.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Alex, I should just write my thoughts and copy and paste them later on, because I thought that we beat this issue to death on this blog.

        #1 Astra was priced above the competition, it was above Civic and other similar cars, even thou it was “better” equipped. Saturn simply doesn’t have the luxury to price its cars above such giants as Civic and Corolla. I know that neither is a hatch, but I think most people will look at those two cars when considering a 17K-22K vehicle.

        #2 Automatic transmission, which I assume would outsell manual tranny 8-2 was a super expensive option. At the time I did my research (few months ago) it was the most expensive automatic tranny in GM family, it was about $1,500 even Corvette did not charge that much. That is a BMW territory. That tranny I believe was a 4 speed and at $1,500 would scare off A LOT of costumers. Also one of the safety systems was priced at $450, I think it was EBS or whatever it is called.

        #3 I sat inside Astra, its not exactly good looking, I personally think that the interior was cheap and ugly, and that little monitor was way out of place.

        So let’s not judge all hatches because one bad apple. If done correctly Cruze may sell well in USA, may even start a cult for hatches.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Astra failed not because of its hatchback configuration, but rather because you couldn't get one - at least here in Virginia. Countless times I would pass by numerous Saturn dealerships to see if they had the two door hatch (3 door to you knuckledraggers) and all they had were red, white, and black ugly four door sedans. I did manage to see one red two door hatch on the road, but you can't sell what you don't build or stock so the issue of hatch-fear by GM should be put to rest.

        Second, the Astra failed because it wasn't marketed. I watch a fair amount of tv in the three hours I am awake after work and don't remember ever seeing an Astra commercial.

        Third, while the sedan version of the Cruze (sic) is dreadfully dull, I've seen a chop (or maybe it wasn't) of a hatch version that was quite stunning save for the putrid front end with those wretched headlights and caricature Chevrolet grill.

        There is a market for hatchbacks but you have to build them, learn to sell them, and tell people that you actually have one and two.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As mentioned the above points are good.

        However, for all we know right now is that Australia is doing the R&D. If the Cruze is being built north of the equator, and they keep to a simple change to the sedan rather than an Elantra-type diversion, relatively cheap tooling swaps could make it easily viable for the US if the demand is there.

        I like the Astra a lot but the Euro build did not make for a cost-competitive offering. It was only to be a stop gap rather than the final small car offered by Saturn
        • 5 Years Ago
        I just checked out the cheapest trim level of Astra and AC was a $960 option.
      • 5 Years Ago
      How bout lets not spam your website....That would be grreeeaaattt...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Makes sense, hope they do it, would be silly not to.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Wow, really? I live in the NorthEast and while there are plenty of Mazda3 sedans around, there are equally as many hatches, if not more. I dont see all that many Golfs/Rabbits, but there are GTIs a plenty up here as well. As far as the STI, well, I dont see all that many STIs... but I dont see many of the new Impreza sedans either.

        I didn't think it was that much of a regional thing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't know where you live, but hatchbacks do *not* sell in volume. None of the hatches you listed are big sellers, are pretty much sport models not "average" cars, and more important are only available as a hatchback. Every day I look around at models that have hatch and sedan versions, I rarely see the hatch. Literally for every Yaris hatch I'll see 5-6 sedans. For every Rabbit/Golf hatch (excluding the GTI) I see countless Jettas. Same thing for Mazda 3; there are bunches more sedans running around. Speaking of Mazda, if hatches were such big sellers then why did Mazda kill off the Mazda 6 hatch and wagon? For the same reason virtually everyone else abandoned the hatchback market - they don't sell in volume in America.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What about a hatchback Cruze SS? They could price it higher than the regular Cruze sedan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I really think they should offer the same trim level on the sedan and hatch to let market figure out what they want instead of doing either:

        Low end only, reinforcing the hatch is cheap perception.
        High end only, automatically limiting sales.

        Make it an across the board option making it a vialbe choice in all segments.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sure they'll send them, I think they'll want the money up front though.
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