Posted by: David Kiley on October 3, 2008
Not so long ago, GM teased us with the prospect of building the Chevy Orlando in the U.S., and even selling the mini minivan here. Pffft. GM execs say they aren’t prepared to take the chance.
It’s a seven seater built on the same platform as the Chevy Cruze. It could, then, be built at the Lordstown, Ohio plant. The Euro-sized minivan is similar in size and package to the Mazda5. Mazda has sold about 16,000 through September, though with no marketing support to speak of and limited allocation.
GM is effectively out of the minivan business in the U.S., having ditched the segment for full-sized crossover SUVs like Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave.
Some believe that the Euro minivan segment could become a profitable segment in the U.S. as fuel prices rise and more one and two-child families bypass traditional minivans for smaller packages.
However, the Orlando lacks the one thing minivan owners, and Mazda5 owners,like—-a sliding door, which is crucial for getting small kids in and out of carseats in cramped U.S. parking lot spaces.