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Australian-designed Cruze hatch hits China

Launched: The Chevy Cruze hatch was released this week in China with some fanfare, including some derring-do from a stunt driver.

World’s biggest car market, China, gets Holden-designed Cruze hatch

Chevrolet logo19 Sep 2013

By RON HAMMERTON

THE Holden-designed Chevrolet Cruze hatchback has been launched in China, where it is expected to boost sales of the bow-tie brand’s best-seller in the world’s biggest automotive market.

The five-door hatch, which has been on sale in Australia for almost two years, joins the sedan on the Shanghai-GM production line in China where the Cruze is a top-10-selling passenger car.

GM China launched the car – literally – in Shanghai with a media event in which a stunt driver “flew” from a ramp at high speed, jumping a three-metre void.

The hatch was designed at Holden’s Port Melbourne studios, making its global debut at the 2010 Paris motor show before being rolled out in Australia, Europe and Britain.

While China is considered predominantly a sedan market, the Cruze hatch’s unique silhouette is expect to win fans among young buyers wanting a sporty alternative.

The Cruze hatch will be sold with a choice of 1.6-litre naturally aspirated or turbo-petrol engines.

While the standard SE model comes with a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, the flagship 135kW 1.6T comes only with a six-speed auto transmission.

In announcing the new variant, Shanghai GM said the Cruze hatch was the first in its segment in China with “a European crossover design”.

Shanghai GM President Wang Xiaoqiu said car would be aimed at younger buyers who valued a practical yet progressive lifestyle.

“Like the Cruze sedan, the Cruze hatchback is destined to be a trendsetter in its segment,” he said.

In August, Chevrolet dealers sold 20,700 Cruzes in China, making it the eighth best-selling sedan.

In the GM stable, the Cruze was only pipped in China by the related Buick Excelle, which is built on the same GM small-car platform as the Cruze and Opel Astra.

Between them, they accounted for more than 40,000 sales for the month, collectively making GM small cars the biggest seller in the land.

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