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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Apr 02 2012, 9:20 AM

Possible engine fires in the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze are being investigated by NHTSA after two have been completely destroyed.

Luckily no injuries have been reported with the fires, which Cruze owners are reporting began while the cars were moving. One complaint from a Cruze owner said, “The car was totally engulfed within five minutes of stopping, and it was only after the first sign of fire was visible that the warning light on the dashboard illuminated.” The driver was 30 miles into a 43-mile trip.

If there is indeed a recall on the Cruze, it could be a costly one depending on the defect. Chevrolet sold 177,000 2011 Cruzes and is cooperating with the investigation.

 |  Apr 23 2011, 8:51 AM

It’s almost a perfect storm. The aftermath of the deadly earthquake in Japan, combined with a dramatic increase in oil prices fueled by the ongoing crisis in Libya and the reduction in domestic stockpiles is pushing up the price of new automobiles in a manner not seen in years.

Already Toyota, Ford and GM have announced price increases for their vehicles, with others set to follow suit. But an interesting trend is the price of small cars. Compared with a year ago, the average price for these vehicles has increased by some 4.2 percent, in the subcompact segment it’s even more – 6.3 percent – according to website TrueCar.com.

Although, given the global nature of the auto business today, companies across the world are facing disruptions, those that are most affected remain Japanese brands. So far, Nippon based companies have delayed the introduction of some 500,000 vehicles because of supply issues resulting from last month’s quake and one industry analyst predicts that amount will grow to some 3.6 million vehicles worldwide by August.

However, this current set of circumstances might provide an opportunity, particularly for Detroit car makers, who’ve been struggling in recent years. In particular, demand for such models as the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Cruze, both of which have been well received, could result in some buyers shifting their allegiance from Japanese brands, which have dominated the market for small cars for so long. The situation is likely to exacerbated by the fact that some models, particularly those imported from Japan such as the Toyota Prius, are currently in short supply, a scenario that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

Nevertheless, although many automakers are rethinking their supply chains as a result of the issues in Japan, it’s unlikely there will be a major realignment in the way parts distribution and production are configured, at least in the short term.

However, given the current economic environment, the auto sector is becoming less of a buyer’s market by the day, particularly for small cars. As a result those consumers in the market for a new vehicle, are likely better off to take the plunge now, while there’s still good deals to be had, rather than sitting on the fence and waiting.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

 |  Dec 03 2010, 9:20 AM

A while back reports circulated that General Motors bight be pairing up with Oprah for another car giveaway. That never materialize, with Oprah instead opting to team up with Volkswagen, but now another TV host is doing their part to get you behind the wheel of a car for free.

General Motors and Conan O’Brien have just launched a new give-away: “20 Pine Tree Air Fresheners in 20 Nights.” And it just so happens that with each air freshener, Conan will also include a handy life-sized 2012 Chevy Cruze carrying case.

Hit the link below to enter:

http://www.teamcoco.com/chevycruze

And Click Here to Read AutoGuide’s review of the 2011 Chevy Cruze

 |  Aug 09 2010, 5:52 PM

With the launch of the new Chevy Cruze, rumors have already started popping up about a possible SS model. And why not; the Cobalt got an SS model and while the initial offering wasn’t overly special, the final turbocharged version was so impressive it could hand it to an EVO on a racetrack.

But according to Chevy marketing boss Jim Campbell a Cruze SS isn’t coming. And if Chevy was planning an SS like the stickered-up model sold in Singapore, then were happy we’ll never see it. But wait, Campbell only said that there won’t be one of the 2011 model year and considering how production cycles work, that makes complete sense. And besides, it doesn’t have to wear the SS badge to be a performance car.

The folks at Jalopnik who interviewed Campbell suggest that if Ford does decide to deliver on a high-powered Focus then a more potent Cruze looks like a reality. And guess what? Ford is set to deliver a performance Focus using EcoBoost technology, and they’ve already said it will be offered globally.

[Source: Jalopnik]

Read AutoGuide’s 2011 Chevy Cruze First Drive by Clicking Here

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

 |  Jul 28 2010, 12:51 AM

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Chevy is about ready to launch the all new Cruze compact sedan here in North America and company executives have high hopes for this latest model. During a sit-down Q&A with engineering, marketing and product bosses behind the Cruze, Chuck Russell, Vehicle Line Director for Global Compact Cars said the introduction of the Cruze, “might be he most important launch we’ve ever done.”

The numbers seem to support Russell’s statement. As a brand, Chevy sales make up 70 percent of GM’s total sales in the U.S. and the compact car segment just so happens to be the second largest segment in the U.S., making up 15.2 percent of all vehicles sold. That’s just shy of the 16.1 percent first place spot held by mid-size sedans. This also happens to be a segment where Chevy has come up short, with the Cobalt a failed successor to the Cavalier.

With the Cruze, Chevy believes it has the car to get the job done, having already sold 270,000 units globally. But this is not an entirely global car, with new items being introduced in each market, like the new 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that is debuting in the U.S.

North American models will also get Chevy’s patented Z-link rear suspension that maintains the benefits of a fixed torsion beam setup (like low cost, light weight and compact size) while delivering a ride that is closer to a fully-independent setup. GM engineers believe they’ve come up with something truly innovative in this suspension setup, even going so far as to call it a “better moustrap.” Not all markets are getting this more advanced rear suspension system, but North America is because Chevy wanted to build a compact car that would be a winner. “Being as good as [the competition] isn’t going to work,” says Russell.

In general Chevy said it concentrated on five major areas in developing the Cruze, ensuring its compact but with an upscale presence, has leading fuel economy, class-leading safety and content, excellent handling and a refined ride, and finally durability and top-notch build quality.

For the doubters, Global Small Car Marketing Director Margaret Brooks, cites the new Equinox, stating the right product will bring success. Brooks lists off impressive numbers for the Equinox, like a four percent market share increase in the compact crossover segment (the nations 3rd largest segment) so far this year, with an average transaction price that is up $3,400. She breaks down where Chevy expects to see Cruze buyers coming from, with a third moving up from smaller or used cars, a third moving over from current GM products and a third moving down from a larger vehicle.

More importantly, however, are two other stats. First, GM expects that up to 50 percent of Cruze buyers will be conquest customers from other brands. Roughly half of all Equinox buyers are coming to Chevy from other brands and Brooks says that the compact crossover is a good bellwether on which to base Cruze data. Second, GM intends to reach new customers with the Cruze, and not in new demographics either. Brooks says that like the Cobalt (and other compact cars for that matter), the key demographics are 20-29 year-olds, as well as empty-nesters, with the 35 to 45 year-old group passing by cars like this for ones with more space, size and utility. Instead, Chevy believes the Cruze will bring it increased market share in new geographic regions.

While Brooks does admit that the Cruze name will mean added marketing for Chevy, competing against legendary sales icons and household names like the Civic and Corolla, she insists a new name was needed for what is essentially the first global Chevy platform.

Along with an expected onslaught of traditional marketing, Russell says Chevy will look to more grassroots methods of communicating the different aspects of the Cruze to customers, knowing that in such a competitive segment they’ll have to bring the Cruze to buyers – likely with competitors in tow to give a car-to-car comparison.

For AutoGuide’s take on the all-new 2011 Chevy Cruze, you’ll have to wait for our First Drive, coming July 31st.

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

 |  Dec 02 2009, 7:17 PM

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After yesterday’s sneak preview of the all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, there isn’t much new to tell other than that GM officially debuted the car today at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It is worth revisiting the car, however, as it is sure to be an important car for GM and the industry as a whole.

The main newsworthy item that sets the Cruze apart is its turbocharged 1.4-liter Ecotec engine (standard in LT and LTZ models) that makes 138-hp and 148 ft-lbs of torque. Those are pretty standard numbers for this class of vehicle, but what makes the engine so impressive is that it achieves 40 mpg on the highway. A larger 1.8-liter unit will come standard on LS models and is expected to make roughly the same amount of horsepower but less torque. Both engines will be offered with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.

With a 40-mpg highway rating the Cruze easily has the best highway mileage in its class, besting the current highway leader, another Chevy product, the Cobalt XFE.

Style wise, it has a prominent front end, with Chevy’s corporate face that premiered on the new Malibu and can be found on vehicles like the Traverse. From some angles, the car does look like Hyundai’s Sonata – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Chevy says the Cruze has more passenger and cargo room than either the Civic or Corolla and due to significant efforts to reduce exterior noise is supposed to deliver a much more high-end driving feel than compact competitors. In addition, Chevy wants to position the Cruze as a segment leader in safety with standard equipment including ABS brakes, StabiliTrak as well as 10 airbags.

Along with some high-tech equipment like Bluetooth connectivity and an available navigation system, other optional highlights include heated front seats and available 18-inch rims.

The Cruze is set to be built at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant with sales scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

GALLERY: 2011 Chevy Cruze Debut in LA

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GALLERY: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Preview

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LA 2009: First Live Photos of Chevy’s 40-MPG Cruze

Does Chevy finally have a Corolla killer?

 |  Dec 01 2009, 6:30 PM

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One day ahead of the U.S.-market debut of 2011 Cruze compact sedan, Chevy gave us a little personal time with the what might just be a genuine Corolla killer. From the Cavalier, to the Cobalt, and now the Cruze, Chevy’s latest compact car is anything but. Chevy hasn’t given us any statistics on interior room, but the Cruze might just be large enough inside to qualify as a midsize sedan, not a compact.

What really sets the Cruze apart, however, is the turbocharged 1.4-liter Ecotec engine (standard in LT and LTZ models) that makes 138-hp and 148 ft-lbs of torque. Those are pretty standard numbers for this class of vehicle, but what makes the engine so impressive is that it achieves 40 mpg on the highway. A larger 1.8-liter unit will come standard on LS models and is expected to make roughly the same amount of horsepower but less torque. Both engines will be offered with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.

With a 40-mpg highway rating the Cruze easily has the best highway mileage in its class, besting the current highway leader, another Chevy product, the Cobalt XFE.

In person the car is a bit more subtle that we at first though, although the calming silver/blue paint might have something to do with that. Style wise, it has a prominent front end, with Chevy’s corporate face that premiered on the new Malibu and can be found on vehicles like the Traverse. From some angles, the car does look like Hyundai’s Sonata – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Inside we were surprised to find that it’s actually as nice as the original press photos had us believe. Sure the leather isn’t Lexus quality, but it is reasonably good and the two tone cockpit has loads more style than pretty much any other compact car. Overall it’s very modern and more luxurious that we’d expect and there’s even a nice information center display between the two main gauges. Chevy says the interior is inspired by the Corvette and we’d have to say that overall, it’s not far off, which is both a compliment to the Cruze and a dis to the Vette.

Chevy says the Cruze has more passenger and cargo room than either the Civic or Corolla and due to significant efforts to reduce exterior noise is supposed to deliver a much more high-end driving feel than compact competitors. In addition, Chevy wants to position the Cruze as a segment leader in safety with standard equipment including ABS brakes, StabiliTrak as well as 10 airbags.

Along with some high-tech equipment like Bluetooth connectivity and an available navigation system, other optional highlights include heated front seats and available 18-inch rims.

The Cruze is set to be built at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant with sales scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010.

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

GALLERY: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze

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 |  Nov 29 2009, 9:42 PM

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Just a few days ahead of the car’s scheduled debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Chevy has drawn back the covers on the North American-spec version of its Chevy Cruze world car. This new compact model replaces the Cobalt in Chevy’s lineup. Like the rest of Chevy’s modern lineup, the car’s design flows from the latest generation Malibu, while the interior gets a high-grade cockpit inspired by the Corvette. And under the hood there are two new Ecotec engines, including a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder unit capable of 40 mpg on the highway.

That 1.4-liter unit will be standard equiment on LT and LTZ models and makes 138-hp and 148 ft-lbs of torque. A larger 1.8-liter unit will come standard on LS models and is expected to make roughly the same amount of horsepower but less torque. Both engines will be offered with either six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.

Chevy plans to take on the Corolla and Civic with this new car which it says will offer more interior room and cargo room. Chevy also says the car will have a surprising level of refinement with plenty of effort put into sound deadening. In addition, Chevy wants to position the Cruze as a segment leader in safety with standard equipment including ABS brakes, StabiliTrak as well as 10 airbags.

The Cruze is set to be built at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant with sales scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2010.

Other highlights include a MacPherson strut front suspension and Z-Link rear suspension, LED lighting for the instrument gauges, available heated front seats and optional 18-inch rims. We’re particularly interested in how the car’s interior looks in person and we’ll be sure to bring you photos when the car officially debuts at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday, December 2nd.

AutoGuide’s Live 2009 LA Auto Show Coverage Starts Here December 2nd

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

GALLERY: 20110 Chevrolet Cruze

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For more on the all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze see after the jump:

Continue Reading…

LA Preview: Chevy Cruze to Debut in Los Angeles With 40-MPG Four-Cylinder Engine

New turbocharged 1.4-liter to achieve class-leading fuel economy

 |  Nov 17 2009, 1:58 PM

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After lagging behind in the compact car segment for decades, Chevrolet may finally have the car that will not only silence critics, but please them too. The all new 2011 Cruze will replace the Cobalt and take on cars like the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. And it’s sure to gain popularity amongst penny-pinchers with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine capable of 40 mpg on the highway.

As though that weren’t enough, Chevy is claiming the new Cruze will have more interior room and caro capacity than the Civic or Corolla and will offer optional items like a navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity and XM Satellite Radio. Safety will also be a strong-point for the car with ten standard airbags!

AutoGuide will be on hand to bring you live coverage of the all-new 2011 Chevy Cruze from the LA Auto Show starting December 2nd.

Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com

Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…