Could the devastating “Great Recession” finally be fading in the rear-view mirror? GM’s August sales performance seems to indicate yes.
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Expect the number of fuel efficient vehicles offered by General Motors grow in the next four years.
Vehicle quality was not the only thing making news when Consumer Reports unveiled the results of its latest reliability study in Detroit earlier this week. Amongst the issues highlighted by the consumer publication were real world fuel economy and forced induction engine technology.
AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection
In this week’s Five-Point Inspection we put Chevrolet’s fuel sipper, the Cruze Eco, to the test. With good and bad in the mix, the Cruze Eco will deliver on what you want, and might even surprise you as a decent daily driver, although there is room for improvement.
Read on to see why.
The initial investigation covered 177,000 vehicles from the 2011 model year, but NHTSA is now expanding the investigation to include the 2012 model year raising the total figure to 370,000 vehicles under investigation.
The total number of fires reported still remains at two, both incidents where the vehicle caught on fire while being driven and resulted in total losses. Fortunately in both incidents the driver and its passengers were able to escape the vehicle without injury.
We have however received quite a bit of attention on a previous post about Chevy Cruze fires, with one commenter even posting a video of his Cruze burning. It looks as though this is a serious issue, which has many cases that have gone unreported.
NHTSA will continue to investigate before reporting its findings to the government. It may take up to six months before a recall is issued, if NHTSA believes the Cruze does have a defect.
A battle that almost seems to have fought it self, selling diesel cars in the U.S. used to be little more than a fool’s errand for most automakers, but that is quickly changing with companies competing to catch up with the trend.
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.
The third variant of the world’s favorite Chevrolet has made its world debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The Chevrolet Cruze station wagon will join the existing sedan and hatchback which together have sold more than 1-million globally since its launch in 2009.
Unfortunately America won’t be watching creative commercials featuring the Cruze station wagon as it won’t be heading to our shores, which is why the station wagon variant is making its debut in Switzerland. Europeans will have plenty of engines to choose from: 1.6L and 1.8L gasoline engines, a 1.4L turbo gasoline, a new 1.7L diesel, and an improved 2.0L diesel. The 1.4L, 1.7L diesel, and 2.0L diesel all come with start/stop technology as standard, while all engines are Euro-5 complaint.
The station wagon measures in at 184.1 inches and is 6.5 inches longer than the hatchback variant and 3.1 inches longer than the sedan model. As expected, the exterior of the Cruze station wagon shows off a tapering single-arch roofline with Chevy reminding us that it’ll come with roof racks as standard.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon
Chip Foose is a household name in the automotive design field, for his eye-popping work and unique cars.
With all the benefits going to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Canada, Chip customized a Chevrolet Cruze which will be given away at Toronto Auto Show. To enter a ballot for a chance to win the car, you must make a donation to the hospital.
The customized Cruze is a great looking vehicle that has an edgy urban vibe. To make it a Foose custom, the Cruze was lowered about an inch and a half, outfitted with custom one-off rims, as well as a carbon fiber body kit and added dual stainless steel exhaust pipes. The custom Cruze is painted in a two-tone style with black on the top, green on the bottom and an orange accent line running through the middle. The interior style was also upgraded with two tone themed black and grey leather seats.
Its always nice to see the automotive industry giving something back.
GALLERY: Chip Foose Cruze
Ever wondered what a Cruze would look like if it had some more trunk space? Today, Chevrolet has revealed its Cruze station wagon before its official appearance next month at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show.
These pictures show the wagon with the same clean looks that the Cruze sedan and hatchback have, and sporting a new set of alloy rims. Also new for the station wagon is the optional 1.7L diesel engine with start-stop technology.
Unsurprisingly, at 184.2-inches long, the Cruze station wagon is bigger than both the Cruze hatchback (177.5-inches long) and the Cruze sedan (180.9-inches long.)
Trunk space is what talks in the world of station wagons, and Chevrolet says if you pack the trunk up to the window, you’re looking at 17.6 cubic feet of trunk space. If you still need more space in the back, you can drop the back seats and enjoy a total space of 52.9 cubic feet of space.
The full reveal of the station wagon will take place at the Geneva Auto Show, where Chevrolet will show us updates to the Cruze’s front fascia, and interior. Also, hopefully Chevrolet will comment on the Cruze station wagon’s availability in other markets than Europe.
As of now there is no talk of bringing the stretched out Cruze to North America.
Problems with a parts supplier have caused the GM assembly plant of the Chevrolet Cruze and its identical brother, Buick Verano, to experiences stoppages in the past 3 weeks, one of which was a one-week planned shutdown and another one that wasn’t planned at all.
According to GM spokesman Tom Mock, GM’s Lordtown, Ohio assembly plant are currently working hard to solve the issue but will not predict when Cruze and Verano production will resume. Unlike the Cruze, however, GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter confirmed that Buick Veranos are still made at its Orion assembly plant in suburban Detroit dispute an adjustment in model mix.
Since it’s September 2010 launch, Chevrolet’s compact sedan has become GM’s top-selling car, accounting for 215,057 U.S. sales this year through November. This also earned the Cruze its #2 position in the compact market, behind 219,250 units of Toyota Corolla and Matrix sold.
While GM hasn’t commented on the parts that are causing the production stoppage, sources revealed that a shortage of struts and suspension components are to blame.
General Motors halted production at the Lordstown, Ohio plant of the globally distributed sedan, citing problems with a parts supplier, though the company didn’t disclose specifics.
“A further process review shows General Motors is not ready to resume production of the Chevrolet Cruze at the Lordstown Complex as announced earlier,” said the company in a statement.
The Cruze isn’t the only car being affected by the shortage: the Buick Verano (pictured above), which uses many of the same parts and shares its platform with the Cruze is also being stalled. The Verano is manufactured at a different plant near Detroit, but is suffering the same production delays.
GM remains tight-lipped about what is causing the delay, but according to Automotive News sources close to the situation say struts shared by both car’s suspensions are a likely culprit.
Production will resume at the Lordstown plant at 10:30 p.m. today after production of the popular car sat stagnant for four days.
There is no information so far on when the Michigan plan will resume production.
Gallery: 2012 Buick Verano
[Source: Automotive News]