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Chevy Cruze is Coming. But Not Until 2010.

Posted by: David Kiley on July 10, 2008


General Motors will call a new “mini” car the Cruze. GM will unveil the car at the Paris Auto Show in September. It will go into production in 2010 in the U.S. as a 2011 model.

The automaker says the car, about 15-feet long, and powered by a new 1.4 liter turbo-charged engine that may exceed 40 mpg on the highway.
If GM can pull off that mileage, it will surpass the standard gas, non-hybrid offerings on the market today from Honda and Toyota—Fit and Yaris. The Cruze will seat five snugly.

The car will be built in Lordstown, Ohio and displace the Chevy Cobalt being built there now. Until gas prices climbed, sending up demand for all small cars, the Cobalt was not considered a big success. And it is a design dud. Sure, Lordstown is on a third shift now making it. But it would be pretty tough not to be over-selling any small car today. There isn’t much equity in the Cobalt name.

I think Cruze is actually a much better name, and one that GM will hopefully stick with through multiple generations of the vehicle.

Reader Comments

Ovidiu Miron

July 10, 2008 12:07 PM

It's a branding discussion here. Cruze is deeper. It's more attractive.


July 11, 2008 2:05 AM

Keep "Cobalt". One of the problems with Ford, GM and Chrysler is the willingness to abandon nameplates in which million$ --ok, hundreds-- of dollars has been invested. I can't remember the last time I saw an ad for the Cobalt, but I guess Chevy is just being consistent here. They built a lousy Cadaver, um, Cavalier, and wanted people to forget all about the J-car. Never mind the similar styling.

At least Alan Mulally saw the idiocy of abandoning venerable names, but all his efforts may be too little, too late to save Ford. At least "Taurus" is back and that there's a promising(-looking) car coming soon that will wear the nameplate proudly.

Compare GM and Ford to Toyota, where the "Corolla" nameplate has graced a wild variety of cars --RWD, FWD, hatchbacks, sedans, two-doors, three-doors, four-doors, etc.-- over the years, the result of this legacy is Corolla owning the title of best-selling car ever. I hate Toyota with a passion, yet can admire some of their practices.


July 11, 2008 6:19 AM

Cobalt not a big succes? The Chevy Cobalt was GM's best selling vehicle in June. They have added a third production shift to keep up with demand.

And according to the GM news release,
the new Chevrolet will make its global debut at the Paris Motor Show in early October. Not September as you wrote.


July 11, 2008 9:31 AM

Go GM. Bring it to market. The sooner the better.


July 11, 2008 11:40 AM

Cobalt not a success? They just added a 3rd shift to meet demand and it has been in the top 10 selling cars for months now. I guess a top 10 car in sales isn't very good.


July 11, 2008 12:07 PM

Cruze? Sounds like an awful name to me. I think Cobalt was neither here nor there, but it is certainly better than the new name. Seems like some 40 and 50 something executives got together and came up with a name they thought would be cool and hip.

I have high hopes that the car itself will be a competitive entry into the small car segment. But don't underestimate the influence a name can have. The junkyard is littered with decent but poorly named cars such as Aspire (it aspires to be a car?), Probe (what exactly are you probing?), and Nova ("does not go" in many languages).


July 11, 2008 2:17 PM

Cobalt like Cavalier before should be dropped as a nameplate, it helps people forget all the reliability issues (not to mention blandness). GM needs to change every model name every year based on all the low quality rating the products get. 6 years from now we can look forward to a new name as it's pretty much a given that the Cruze will be in the same quality range as the Cavalier/Cobalt/Lada... Honda / Toyota seem to never 'change' the model names, could it be because they have no need to 'get the bad taste out of consumer's mouths'?


July 11, 2008 7:13 PM

I think GM will be back! Just before the gas crisis they were about to turn it around with the 18,000 people taking buy-outs and early retirement. They would have saved $9 billion by 2010 with the VEBA negotiations. However, with the gas crisis, GM needs to improve their advertising to inform people they have more cars that get 30 mpg than any other auto maker, including Honda and Toyota. I am a proud UAW/GM employee of 30 years and I hope GM, a great American company, will be around for another hundred years.


July 12, 2008 1:25 AM

Cruze is a ridiculous name. At least Cobalt sounds powerful.
If they were going to change the name there were better choices available:
Nova (does NOT mean does not go, thats a myth)

Cruze is just plain awful.


July 12, 2008 11:03 AM

The name of the car is less important then the car itself.

If the car is a great car, safe, with miles in the 40 mpg, looks good, rides good, sounds good.

The name could be "40" (as in 40 mpg). people will buy it, if the good value, looks, & ride is nice.


July 13, 2008 7:00 AM

I think Cruze has branding issues due to associated imagery of cackling and jumping up and down on Oprah's couch


July 14, 2008 12:39 PM

I think "40" would be a great name as long as the car actually gets 40 MPG. GM has a real issue when it comes to advertising there GPA, I have never seen a GM car get the projected MPG. Furthermore I think GM already has the technology to get 58 MPG or did everyone already forget about the economical GEO METRO? If I was GM I would pull all the drawings for that car and get started building it. But then again 58 MPG might be to much for the people the automakers are in bed with.

Jim Francis

July 14, 2008 2:25 PM

GM - along with Ford and Chrysler - needs to engage in some serious discussions with the UAW and their Board of Directors. It's time to stop trying to force-feed cars the consumers don't want. And, it's time to develop the flexibility necessary to become and remain competitive in a dynamic market. It is embarassing that Toyota, a Japanese company, can develop the capacity to build cars - with no indigenous resources with which to make steel - here or abroad, and kick our butts!


July 14, 2008 3:05 PM

this will be another FLOP no quality nor gas mileage that is acceptable to ride in this excuse for a car they already have somethinng better the VIBE only it [the 1.8] is made by toyota which is OK then gm buils the car for toyota the matrix the real answer is a small natural gas engine in an electric car max


July 15, 2008 12:38 AM

I don't see what all the gloom is about the Cavalier. Except for some desgin issues, I liked my 2002 Cavalier. Except for that it was a bit too small, which is why I had traded it in for my 2005 Impala with a slightly more powerful small V-6 (3.2L which GM stopped ofering after 2005) with slightly less mpg.

My concern with Cruze would be that the 1.4L engine isn't enough power to get it to accelerate it fast enough on major highways or up inclines. Some ramps and inclines to bridges here are somewhat steep and I don't think a 1.4L engine, especially accelerating and with 5 adults will do the job

Scott W

July 15, 2008 10:34 AM

GM should make sure that their interior materials have the look, feel, and quality of those used in Honda and Toyota vehicles. Systems like Pass Key II that seemingly fail and result in costly repairs after 10 yrs of ownership need to go. Fuel economy is only one component of the equation. While GM cars are relatively inexpensive for what you get, the true overall value is still not there. Let's see if GM has what it takes to truly compete with the Civic, Corolla, and even Hyundai's Elantra (which Consumer Reports highly recommends).

unto ryodi

July 17, 2008 10:16 PM

My Matrix 03 no has 100000 miles on it and overall has given me and still does 28.7 mpg and has had no mechanical problems or failures neither does it rattle or shake. Until such time that chevy can come up with something similar i will not leave the toyota bench. As for cobalt i can only say its plastic on wheels. Thanks/


July 18, 2008 10:53 AM

Cruze....the name is really cool to finally some thought is being put in to name the new models...Better look for this Cruze dudes...


July 18, 2008 11:21 PM

Keep the colbalt!!!!!!!! We have two in our house and might be buying a third next year. One of the best cars i've every owned. Get your colbalt while you can!!!!!!!!!!


July 19, 2008 4:42 PM

I have a 1997 Cavalier with 130,000 miles + and only had to replace the water pump, car runs and looks great. Original muffler and exhauast system still fine. What else does one want? Why the negative comments?

makin money online

July 20, 2008 8:43 PM

I cant wait till they bring that thing here to NY, we need some serious help with these gas prices. But Im still recovering some of my money back with sound investments. I got some good tips off of


July 23, 2008 1:53 PM

Well I have a 97 cav (160,555 Mi)AND a 2005 cobalt. My cav eats up the new coblat in gas mileage. Cav is great, i have only replaced the batt, water pump, and valve cover gasket. What more can you ask for gawd. It was a pretty good car. The cobalt just does not live up to the hype. Gas mileage is NOT what they say, I have numerous problems with the car and its only few years old. Radio works when it wants too, water seeps from under the dash etc..etc.. I would take a Cav over this cobalt anytime. I would problaby take my old 76 Vega over this cobalt. I loved that car!!!!!!!!!1

billy d

July 26, 2008 10:53 AM

the 03 matrix with 100,000 miles, no problems, does your matrix have a timing belt, and if it does when was it changed, and how much did it cost you. I sale GM cars and have seem over the last 18 years tons of GM cars with over 120,000 to 200,000 miles still running, so what is so good about the matrix over GM cars that of that size get over 30mpg


August 17, 2008 12:33 AM

OK sounds like alot of people here, all with mixed opinions!
I believe this is what GM was thinking with the name change - from Cavalier, to Cobalt, to Cruze.
They scrapped the Cavalier name for Cobalt because they wanted to sever the ties to the Cavi.
Ill admit, the Cavalier was mediocre, and it was basic transportation that was reliable, and essentially unchanged since the 95 model year. The name was around since 1982, and was not getting alot of attention (style wise), so they chose Cobalt name as the replacement. The Cobalt name was used so that people my age, (mid 20's+) would actually buy one... because if they named it Cavalier nobody would want one because they would think it was the same thing as the Cavalier's that they grew up with (which it basically is) and they would remember the bland experience from them.
GM is trying to turn a new leaf, and show the public that the quality is better, and the products are better. People mentioned about how Honda keeps using Civic name, etc.. Well, thats because people who bought the Civic in 1980, are probably going to be repeat buyers, and were happy with their Civic/whatever. Most people were so/so happy though with their Cavi's - could you imagine what sales of the current Cobalt would be like if it were named the Cavilier?? (Even though most of us know thats what it basically is anyhow)
Now that the new car is coming, they need another new name to really step it up.. Because most people know that the Cavalier & Cobalt are siblings, we need something different to TOTALLY sever it from the old days, and use something global, and totally not related to the previous cars.
Think of the Cobalt as a rebound girl - she is ok, for the time being... What you're really doing is waiting for "the one". Think of the Cruze as "the one".
GM is probably planning on using Cruze nameplate for quite some time after it hits the dealerships and starts selling, and builds a reputation, just as Honda has with Civic.
Also, as someone previously commented, about Lordstown making the Cruze, and exporting it for a year to Europe.... no, thats not true. Europe is getting it before us because they have a plant that has a car going out of production, and need a car to build. Lordstown will get the Cruze in 2010, because thats when the Cobalt is slated to go out, and also, by giving the car to Europe first, it gives makes EUROPE the guinea pig. It enables THEM to find the bugs involved with production, and fix them, and pass the intelligence along to us so that when WE do start producing it at Lordstown, theres not alot of problems in the production of it, and we wont build anything that needs fixed, and we wont have unhappy customers because they "just bought a new car, and theres something wrong". I can magine everyone now complaining if they gave the Cruze to Lordstown first.... There's ALWAYS glitches in production of a new car, and GM can't take any more bad raps in the US, so by giving it to europe, where its NOT a "sink or swim" market, it would be acceptable if theres bugs with the car over there at production startup. It would only take a few glitches to destroy the reputation of the new Cruze if something would go wrong with production in the US if we were the first ones to get the car.
The Cobalt and Cruze will be produced TOGETHER at Lordstown for a little bit, until the Cobalt finally ceases production.

You may asking how i know all of this. Well, I work at Lordstown. BTW, ill get to see the Cruze next week at work when they bring it to the plant for all of us employees to see.... I would like to get a pic to post, but theres a no camera policy in the plant, and i dont want to get in trouble.. sorry. ill try to do my best.

Also, keep your eyes peeled, theres been rumors flying around the plant about us building 4 cars at the same time, all on the delta 2 platform, one name mentioned.. Cadillac.. Just rumors, but most of the time, theyre right. Also, my previous comments are IMO, and not set in stone.

Mark M

August 25, 2008 9:46 PM

I don't understand what all the negative talk is about either. My '89 Chevy S-10 has over 200k and has NEVER broke down on me! It is also a hell of a lot cheaper to maintain than my Volvo. (Which, as expected, has also never broken on me.) Generally speaking, I believe GM products are every bit as reliable as Toyota, if not more so. The JD Power survey I saw had Buick tied at #1 for reliability with Lexus. Buick and Cadillac are a LOT more reliable than BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but people don't realize that. I think GM just has a stigma about it left over from the 70s... and some uninformed buyers and people just bad mouth American cars because they assume the Japanesse or Germans make better stuff. To me, one of GM's biggest problems is marketing... not their products.

alex b

August 26, 2008 8:29 PM


alex b

August 26, 2008 8:29 PM


Unto Ryodi

September 9, 2008 8:56 PM

To Billy D If u sell cars for living(cant do good living right now selling GM cars,,,,Sorry). U must not do any research on the competicion. matrix as well as corolla come with very long lasting timing chain. Most common complain on these engines is noisy idler wheel on serpentine belt. Noise however goes away ones u install a good aftermarket belt around 60000 miles, i would take that as normal wear and tear. Mechanics always would like u to spend more on items u really dont need (in trade we call it "ticketbuilder"). and by the way the matrix is still going good with no rattles and shakes. Unskinator


September 17, 2008 8:40 AM

1988 Cavalier Z24..still going strong only $500 in total repairs ..water pump and computer module..wished I would have bought two.


September 17, 2008 10:28 AM

Go Chevy!!!

I need a boost on my GM stock!!!

Just a shame its taken this much time, for the Cruise & Volt.

What happen to the electric car from years ago??

Anyone see the movie "Who Killd the Electric Car"??


Anyway, I guess better late than never, but that always kinda been Chevy's way..Hey and I own several hundred shares.


September 28, 2008 3:34 PM

WTF is wrong with this name, Definition: n. 1. A gallant or chivalrous man, especially one serving as escort to a woman of high social position; a gentleman. 2. A mounted soldier; a knight! That definition is for the only American "Compact" (commonly incorrectly called a Sub) to ever sell at the top for 23 years (Even without the General properly redesigning it regularly) I'm speaking for "The Cavalier" a car with a fan base multi million strong I mean think about it, thats a great worldly name. The new car should have been called Cavalier in homage to the original 82-94 back when the 4 door looked like it had a BMW roof line. The car was even sold in Europe at high sales (Vauxhall Cavalier MK2) ruled the UK in sales back then. Opel engineered the original J car(like thier working on this car now).Now I know that was when the cars design was new, but as stated earlier the General didn't properly redesign it regularly and was still a leader. That don't mean its not a great name and/or doesn't deserve a re imaging. Just wanted to throw my 2 cents in and stand up for a little car I'm quite fond of, I was really hopeful when the new car had no name.
Just saw interior pictures, the quality changes looks like it may actually get auto hvac. If this is a proper and completely new car it would completely re image the Cavalier(I wish they'd call it that) and bring back the old fans as well as new ones. When the Cavalier original came out it was aimed at the then smaller Accord, Honda kept up sizing there car to keep up with buyers, a trend that would have worked for Chevy. Well I can still hope for a different better platform down the line maybe something rear drive.


September 30, 2008 6:35 PM

bring on the chevy volt!! in the meanwhile,i'll drive my 2002 chevy cavalier rs 5spd(32mph all the time)and my 2006 chevy hhr 5spd(33mph-1214mile trip average)both eco-tec 4cyl engines.oh, 2002 z06 vette is getting 25mpg (premium gas) putting out 405horsies>>>bring back the chevette name??? corvair..watchout for nader!!


October 14, 2008 2:41 PM

Hey Hoffy and the other Chevy guys, my 2007 Cobalt SS Supercharged (with GM Performance parts -Stage II Kit)consistantly is getting 34.5 mpg with air conditioning and 2 other passengers.
Oh, did I mention this is on Cruse control at 75+ mph.

Bottom line, I'm a Chevy guy, like you guys.

GO CHEVY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 29, 2008 9:54 AM

I have a 04 Cavalier LS and I have to say it is not everything I dreamed about, with this car I have hope in GM and it's cruze. Yesterday I came back from a trip chicago-new york with 32mpg average, so I don't understand people saying cavs and cobalts have bad fuel economy. I wanted to buy new mitsubishi lancer next year, but when I saw cruze photos I thinking of staying with GM. Why? Cause I am a chevy guy:) Other thing is that maintenance of GM cars is wya cheaper than german or japanese.


June 23, 2009 5:07 PM

I am excited about this one. I am trying to save just about all of my income (I am 19) so I can get one of these with the 1.4T as soon as they come out. Based on what I am hearing, Chevy may be making a Civic killer, if all the talk is true (larger interior, better gas milage, 6 speed automatic transmission, turbo-charged 1.4L engine, and a sticker price of 15-16k). If the cruze is what they say it will be, GM is all but in the clear.

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