2011 Chevrolet Cruze - Click above for high-res image gallery

Like other automakers, General Motors would prefer to avoid the recall stigma that plagued first-year examples of rival Ford's Focus a decade ago. North American versions of that car were recalled five times in the first year to fix early production glitches. The new Chevrolet Cruze had been scheduled to launch production at the company's Lordstown, Ohio factory in April of next year, but according to The Detroit News, that timeline has now been pushed back to July.

Although earlier launches of the Cruze in China and Europe have not endured any serious problems, this is the company's first major new product since it was re-born out of bankruptcy this summer, and GM wants to avoid anything going wrong in the U.S. as well.

The Cruze is expected to hit 40 mpg in highway driving with its new 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. According to the DetNews, the delay will also give GM time to have every variant of Cruze ready for customers on day one. Often, production launches are staggered with some trim levels and build combinations held back at first. This frequently causes problems for an automaker if they don't build enough examples of the models people actually want to buy.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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