Holden has let slip that it will sell the next-generation Cruze alongside the already-confirmed Astra beyond the end of its factory closure in 2017 — with a big small-car sales boost expected.
It may not be a big revelation, but Holden was yet to confirm that the new-shape Cruze revealed in June this year would come here to replace the aged current model, which is still being made in Australia.
Pictured: 2017 Chevrolet Cruze cabin.
The confirmation, let out at a Holden event last night, means the new Cruze will be the sedan complement to the Astra hatch moving forward — similar to the Hyundai Elantra/i30 duo. The pair share a platform, subbed D2XX.
The pair combined will give Holden a more thorough presence in the small car segment than at present. Small car sales are dropping — down 7 per cent this year — but remain the most popular cars in Australia.
Holden’s market share in the small car segment with the current Cruze and the niche, aged, Astra three-door, is only about 7 per cent. The Cruze is way down this year as its shadow lengthens — by 17.5 per cent.
Making a bold prediction, and letting the cat out of the bag, was Holden sales director Peter Keley, who said:
“We will sell more Cruze with the next-generation after we have closed [our factory] than we sold last month.
“… Cruze is at the end of its product cycle, we will replace the vehicle and sell more cars than we do today,” he said.
Where the Cruze will be sourced from remains unclear — it’s currently made in the US and China. However, we expect Korea to come on stream as a source soon, and that seems most likely. The Astra will be sourced out of Poland.
Furthermore, while we know when the Astra will launch, the E.T.A. for next-generation Cruze is less clear. If Holden builds the current Cruze through to the factory closure in late 2017, then perhaps after that — at which point the new car would be two years old.
The other option would be to sell the new Cruze sedan alongside the current Cruze, the latter being cut in price and dubbed something like ‘Cruze Classic’.
Or, perhaps Holden might cease current Cruze production early and just build Commodores at its Elizabeth plant to the end. It’s a bit unclear.