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Future models - Holden - Cruze

Holden keeps the faith in Cruze

Cruze control: The Cruze sedan is a definite starter in the Holden line-up and is expected to arrive in 2017.

Cruze and Astra to be offered alongside each other in Holden dealerships

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Holden logo4 Dec 2015

By TIM NICHOLSON

A GM Holden executive has let slip that the car-maker will offer the next-generation Cruze alongside its European-sourced Astra stablemate, once production of the existing model ceases in 2017.

Holden executive director of sales Peter Keley let the cat out of the bag, inadvertently announcing the two-model small-car strategy when discussing sales of locally built cars at a Holden media event this week.

“I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction,” he said. “We will sell more Cruze with next generation after we have closed than we have sold of the last one.

“We also have Cruze which as at the end of its product life-cycle which we make here in Australia. And we will replace that vehicle. And we will sell more small cars in the future than we do today.” The confirmation means the Cruze will share the showroom floor with the Opel-built Astra hatch, which is scheduled to arrive in Australia in the fourth quarter of next year. While timing is unclear for the Cruze, GoAuto believes it will arrive in 2017, likely around the time the Elizabeth, South Australia factory shuts its doors.

Given that Holden has only announced the Astra hatch for the Australian market, not the imminent sedan or the wagon body styles, it is likely that the Cruze will be offered here only in sedan guise.

The hatchback version of the Cruze was recently spied undergoing engineering development in southern Europe.

The Cruze sedan was revealed in June this year with Chevrolet badges, showing a sharper design than the current model, and, thanks to the D2XX underpinnings, offering larger dimensions and a more spacious interior.

It is unclear where the Cruze will be sourced for the Australian market, but it is likely to be South Korea.

In American Chevrolet spec, the Cruze will initially be offered with a new alloy 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing 113kW/240Nm, with a diesel due for US release in 2017.

Fuel economy is rated at 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres when fitted with the six-speed automatic transmission, and it will cover 0-100km/h in eight seconds, according to GM.

The plan to bring the Cruze in alongside the Astra is part of Holden's strategy to launch 24 new cars by 2020, sourced from Europe, the United States and Asia, with a third coming from Europe.

The first all-new model in the model roll-out will be the Spark light hatch, which will arrive in 2016.

Cruze sales have dropped off by 17.5 per cent to the end of November this year, with 14,034 units shifted compared with 17,031 in the same period last year.

The Australian-built sedan and hatch range was one of the most popular picks in the segment just a few years ago – it was the third best-selling small car in the country behind the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 in 2011 and 2013 – but is now fifth in the segment, with the Hyundai i30 and Volkswagen Golf ahead of it.

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