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Holden Cruze hatch starts to roll

Rolling down the line: The Holden Cruze hatch has now joined its sedan sibling in local production at the Elizabeth plant in South Australia.

Holden’s Cruze hatch starts local production ahead of November launch

26 Oct 2011

HOLDEN has commenced production of the Australian-designed Cruze hatchback at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia ahead of the car’s launch in early November.

The five-door hatch joins the assembly line alongside the Cruze sedan, which has been in local production since March this year.

Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux said the shift to producing the smaller Cruze sedan and hatch range locally alongside the venerable Commodore was a sign of the times.

“As global economic conditions changed we set ourselves a very clear goal to be profitable first and foremost on our domestic business,” he said.

“This means building in Australia the large and small cars that Australians really want to drive.

“This strategy is clearly paying off. Cruze has been a great success in the market and our locally made vehicles account for nearly 60 per cent of Holden’s new-car sales this year.” Holden received $149 million from the federal government’s now-defunct Green Car Innovation Fund and a further $30 million from the state government to produce the Cruze in South Australia.

13 center imageLeft: Holden Cruze hatch undergoing local tests.

The suspension system on the Cruze hatch has been engineered for local conditions, with Holden claiming its team clocked up a further 140,000km of testing to help enhance steering response, ride quality and refinement.

Holden also said these adjustments would apply to model year 2012 Cruze sedans.

Last month, the Australian car-maker announced price increases of between $250 and $500 across the Cruze range for MY12 while adding Bluetooth connectivity to the standards features list.

Pricing for the hatchback will be the same as the sedan, while powertrains in the hatchback will also mirror the line-up in the four-door variant, meaning two petrol engines (1.8-litre and 1.4-litre turbo) and one diesel (2.0-litre turbo) option.

Earlier this month ANCAP awarded the hatch the same five-star safety rating as its sedan sibling without crash testing it, after it was deemed it to be the same in all critical structural and safety aspects as the four-door model.

The Cruze is currently the second best-selling vehicle in the small-car segment year-to-date, despite not having a hatch in its stable.

According to industry statistician VFACTS, the small Holden holds a 14.9 per cent segment share, placing it behind only the recently facelifted Mazda3 sedan and hatch range on 18.1 per cent.

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