The latest-generation Cruze debuted in 2014 at the Shanghai auto show, before going on sale in China earlier this year. As hinted at by GM's top brass, the Cruze that will be made and sold in North America differs stylistically from Chinese market model (below).
We can see that the American Cruze has a completely different bonnet, different shaped headlights and a unique front fascia, with a vastly altered grille, as well as changes to the lower air intake and fog light surround.
Despite any cosmetic differences, both vehicles use the same platform as the new Opel Astra and second-generation Chevrolet Volt.
The future of the Cruze in the Australian market is uncertain. The current-generation model is produced in both sedan and hatchback guises at Holden's plant in Elizabeth, South Australia.
Earlier this year, Stefan Jacoby, president of GM International, refused to commit Holden to producing the Cruze until its local factory closes in 2017. Regarding the Cruze's future at the plant, Jacoby said, "It’s very much depending on our future product strategy and we cannot comment at this point".
The company could elect to continue manufacturing the current Cruze, which received a facelift at the beginning of the year, until the South Australian factory closes, but by then the base car will be nine years old.
If Holden decides to sell the next-generation Cruze in Australia, it's extremely unlikely that it will be produced locally given the expense involved and short manufacturing timeframe.
It's also widely believed that Holden will sell the just-unveiled next-generation Astra in Australia with lion badges. It's unknown if it will pitch it as a semi-premium product, along the lines of the Volkswagen Golf, or whether it will be company's mainstream small car.