We've spoken at length previously about the fallacy of poor hatchback sales in the US, and with the runaway success of its Chevrolet Cruze sedan, it's somewhat unsurprising to hear that General Motors is rethinking its decision not to sell an overseas five-door variant in North America as it looks to plug a number of holes in its lineup. GM North American President Mark Reuss admitted during a media luncheon this week that not offering the model "... was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake," says Forbes. With the next-generation model already well-along in development, it's likely that the current Cruze hatch (shown above) won't see US dealers.

Reuss admits not offering the model "was a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake"

In what must have been a far-reaching conversation, Reuss hinted at a number of new products for many GM brands, including "a much more beautiful Panamera" range-topper for Buick (which sounds a bit like the line of reasoning the TriShield brand has been pursuing with its Riviera concepts) and a "Ford Transit Connect-fighter" to supplant the recently announced badge-engineered Chevy City Express from Nissan.

Interestingly, Reuss also talked about a take on "a contemporary wagon for mainstream America," although a brand for such a vehicle was apparently not mentioned. While a compelling idea around the Autoblog watercooler, we can't help but note that US automakers have made attempts at rebirth of the family truckster with limited success – the Ford Flex has come in for critical acclaim but tepid sales, and the Chrysler Pacifica didn't find favor with pundits or consumers. Even so, the latter failure apparently isn't stopping Chrysler from a possible second attempt at the genre – it's said to be working on a next-generation Town & Country or Dodge Caravan that toes the line between a minivan and a crossover, so perhaps GM wouldn't be playing alone.

Finally, with the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra printing money (GM's full-size pickups are said to account for as much as two-thirds of its overall profits), it's unsurprising to hear Reuss talk about the possibility of a new truck occupying the sliver of white space between a heavy-duty pickup and a medium-duty commercial vehicle.


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  • 69 Comments
      jonwil2002
      • 1 Year Ago
      What needs to happen is that the stupid broken CAFE rules need to be fixed so that building an SUV/Crossover/CUV isn't miles more attractive from a CAFE standpoint than building a wagon is.
      Fonin
      • 1 Year Ago
      at least they didn\'t try to call it a 5 door coupe or something. who about offering more than one body style? whatever happened to the coupe-sedan-wagon(hatch) approach? ooh, then we could get a cruze vert, lol.
      mylz
      • 1 Year Ago
      I want a Cruze wagon@! not the hatch. The wagon offers way more space and convenience than a cruze with a hatch. Both Rivera Concepts are beautiful and they would be dumb not to bring them out. Buick could easily design a better looking panamera, From what I understand they are going to bring in something smaller than the enclave and bigger than the encore. I hope it looks something like the concepts that were extremely pretty. Chrysler failed with the Pacifica because they asked too much, if you paid attention to sales the last model year they sold a ton of them. It was a decent vehicle, everyone that I know does like it. The company my mom works for had Pacificas and a majority of the sales people bought them out at the end of the lease. I am biased in a bad way though because I got the base model with the 3.8 as a hand me down. I previously owned an Impala before the beast was totaled. The car is ugly and looks like a minivan. GM hands down has the best full size CUVs
      JonnyO
      • 1 Year Ago
      A colleague of mine in Brazil has the Cruze hatch, and I strongly feel that it's a more attractive vehicle than the sedan. It's not bad in the pictures, but even better in person.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      If you're in the US and you want the utility of a hatchback, you have to choose between a high riding, and therefore poorly handling and inefficient SUV, a minivan, or a subcompact hatch. There are not many options in the middle. This would be filling and empty niche. I'd rather though, that they lengthen it a little bit and make it a proper wagon.
        Armand
        • 1 Year Ago
        @BipDBo
        To be fair, small SUVs are catching up to hatches in terms of fuel economy. My brother averages around 30mpg in his 2014 AWD Subaru Forester which is comparable to my Toyota Matrix.
      R.t Voll
      • 1 Year Ago
      I wish GM would build another Caprice wagon. I loved those huge road sofas.
      Joe
      • 1 Year Ago
      I want to ask for hatchbacks, but I'm afraid GM will bring us another Malibu Maxx. That thing was hideous. I also don't understand why manufacturers feel the need to round off the back ends of hatch backs and CUV/SUVs. Aerodynamics? Looks? It significantly reduces the utility.
        thumerzs
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Joe
        Exactly. I'd be interested in a wagon version. A small hatch just doesn't have the utility I'm seeking and if it's rounded off in the back I can't get large boxes through the opening so it's even less appealing. People who buy wagons are practical types. I don't want to buy an ugly car, but in a wagon function has to come before fashion. How 'bout a Cruze diesel wagon?
      William J. Sisco
      • 1 Year Ago
      I have had hatchbacks for years, currently driving a '12 Mazda bright red 5 door. It is always admired when I am @fillup. I looked at the Ford but, the Mazda handling was much better. If the ST was there, I would have maybe considered (I think ST was introduced after I purchased the Mazda). Definitely, if the Cruz was available, I would have at least test drove it. That said, nothing like being at Lowes and being able to flip down the back seats and load some lumber, etc w/o having to tie it to the roof.
      Griffen W
      • 1 Year Ago
      The next design explanation video they do should discuss what the technical differences are between: hatchback, liftback, notch back, fast back, wagon, 5door, 3door.....
        methos1999
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Griffen W
        Haha yeah that would be pretty good, although I believe there is some overlap between terms. For instance, I believe you can have a lift-back, hatch-back, fast-back all in one car, and all 5 door 3 door cars are hatchbacks.
        Andrew Pappas
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Griffen W
        I don't understand the confusion in this regard... Wagon is a 5 door with a rear door to a cargo area common with the passenger area and a length at least as long as a sedan equivalent and a rear glass more vertical than horizontal. Hatchback has a rear door to the cargo area common with the passenger compartment, and the same length or shorter than the sedan eqivalent. A wagon emphasises cargo volume, while the hatchback emphasizes versatlity. A hatchback can also be termed a liftback if the rear glass is shallower than 45%, a la Mazda 6 5-door. Fastback can be the same as liftback, but could also have a trunk...i.e. an Audi A7 could be fast- or lift- but a mid 90s tbird is only a fastback. Notchback is a conventional sedan rear...such as the mid 90s Mercury Cougar vs its Tbird Fastback cousin.
      Neutral President
      • 1 Year Ago
      The Ford Focus, Mazda 3, VW Golf and Jetta Sportwagen are pretty much running away with the compact hatch/wagon category. Everyone else seems to be content with marketing top-heavy and inefficient crossovers to people looking for compact cargo-carriers. And they're wrong. Nice to see GM finally coming to their senses.
      Chris
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM is crazy for not selling the Cruze hatchback here, as well as the wagon... and hatch and wagon variants of the Regal. These cars have all been engineered for foreign markets, and the cost to bring them here should be minimal.
      ccweems
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let's call the Pacifica a faux wagon. It looked like a wagon but it didn't carry as much as my Honda Fit. I rented one in Phoenix while carrying golf bags. It could carry on two bags with the seat backs up. The Fit carried 4 bags although I did take the drivers out an packed them last. Along with the bags I carried 4 golfers. Europe understands wagons where they are expected to carry much more than the sedans or hatchbacks on the same platform. Watch out for the specs as they typically quote the storage below the bottom of the windows. Obviously packing a wagon to the roof adds a lot of storage.
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