AutoGuide News Blog
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.
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]
General Motors halted production of their popular Cruze sedan yesterday after a supplier issue hampered production.
Chevrolet says they plan to resume production as soon as possible, though they declined to disclose what the issue was. Production officially stopped around 1 p.m. EST according to a spokesperson for the Lordstown, Ohio, factory where the Cruze is produced.
Currently the Cruze is the second-best selling small car in the U.S. and the 10th-best overall. Chevrolet has been able to capitalize on consumer demand for more fuel efficient cars, given that the Cruze can achieve up to 42 mpg.
Expect whatever issue is postponing production to be addressed soon, after all the car is a hot seller and one that GM hopes to push beyond current sales to be a market leader. At the moment, it outsells the Honda Civic, though the Toyota Corolla still boasts better numbers.
Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze
It seems Ford‘s financial health is improving after an announcement that they will reinstate a cash dividend on their stocks at 5 cents a share.
Ford originally abandoned the dividend in 2006 as part of an effort to preserve cash after posting a total of $9 billion in losses the previous five years. They hadn’t planned to make such a move until their credit rating climbed back to investment status, but the board felt differently in light of the company’s success.
“We have made tremendous progress in reducing debt and generating consistent positive earnings and cash flow,” Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford, said in a statement. “The board believes it is important to share the benefits of our improved financial performance with our shareholders.”
The $9 billion Ford lost leading up to the recession paled in comparison to the $30.1 billion they lost between 2006 and 2008, but it looks like the number crunchers feel good about the last 10 quarters where they posted consistant profits. As it stands, the dividend is payable on March 1, 2012, to Class B and common shareholders of record on Jan. 31, 2012.
S&P and Moody’s both downgraded Ford’s credit rating in 2005, before the bulk of their losses took place. Though neither returned Ford to the rating originally aligned with reinstating the cash dividend, they bumped the automaker up to just below investment grade. The upgrade came because of improved finances, but also after a renewed agreement with the United Auto Workers.
Lewis Booth, Ford’s CFO expects the company’s strong financial growth to support the dividend nonetheless.
“We have demonstrated our capability to finance our plans and we are confident that we can begin to pay a dividend that will be sustainable through economic cycles,” Booth said in a statement.
S&P said today that the move to reinstate the dividend will not affect Ford’s credit rating because it is less than the $2 billion they expect Ford to generate in automotive operating cash flow before the dividends are paid out.
Despite that, they also said that global industry prospects are weakening, pointing to economic uncertainty in Europe and a softening market in Brazil.
While it isn’t clear how much of an effect that will have on Ford, a blow to international sales may be a concern for the company on some level considering their growing international success with cars like the Fiesta.
[Source: Automotive News]
They’ve come a long way since November 3, 1911 when Swiss emigrant Louis Chevrolet and then-ousted GM founder William C. Durant first incorporated the brand.
Their Series 490 helped the fledgling brand prove itself against Ford, and offer serious competition to the Model T. The Series 490, named for its $490 price tag, offered a more refined product for $5 less than the Model T.
Though the Series 490 never overtook the Model T, it allowed Durant to re-acquire General Motors.
Many vehicles have sported the iconic bowtie since then, but the Cruze is making a splash unusual for the brand. Chevy says the Cruze ranks fourth globally and first in the North American market.
“I can’t think of a better birthday present,” said Chris Perry, vice president of global Chevrolet marketing and strategy, in a statement released to the media.
Today, Chevy is still captivating our imaginations with heart-pumpers like the ZR1 Corvette and capturing the world market with the globally distributed Cruze.
The Cruze went on sale in 2009 before launching in North America about a year ago. The automaker says that its largest markets are, in order: China, the United States, Russia, Canada, Mexico, India, Turkey, South Korea, Israel and Spain.
Gallery: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet will make their small cars the focus of the brand’s presence at the upcoming SEMA Show, bringing a huge collection of customized Sonics and Cruzes to the show floor. The majority of the Sonics and Cruzes coming from Chevrolet will feature products from the Z-Spec lineup, including performance, styling and personalization accessories.
Chevy isn’t revealing the custom Sonics and Cruzes built by some of the country’s top builders yet, but they did release teaser details (and a few pics), commenting that they’ll be bringing their Z-Spec #1, Z-Spec #2, Z-Spec 4D Concept and Dusk for their Sonic line. The pair of Cruzes Chevy will be showing off are the Cruze Z-Spec and Cruze Dusk.
Z-Spec #1 will be a turbocharged Sonic five-door sporting a collection of concept Z-Spec accessories. A ground effects kit, spoiler, unique grille and graphics package are applied to a Torch Red exterior further accented by a set of 18-inch Z-Spec concept wheels. On the inside, perforated black suede seat inserts, a Z-Spec sport pedal kit, sport shift knob and racing-style flat-bottom steering wheel accent the interior. Performance comes from four-piston brake calipers, new suspension and a high-flow exhaust system.
Z-Spec #2 is similar to the Z-Spec #1, but features a more aggressive exterior styling package and will be shown off in a Flat White with Torch Red accents. The 4D Concept will show off the sedan accessories in an Ashen Gray Metallic finish while the Dusk is a subtle Berlin Blue exterior with 18-inch wheels in a dark Galvano Silver finish.
For the Cruzes, the Z-Spec will feature a ground effects package, 18-inch wheels, an accessory spoiler and a high-flow grille. A new stripe package is also added to the exterior while the interior accessories are similar to the Sonic’s offerings. The Cruze Dusk will also be similar to the Sonic Dusk, offering a look at a more subtle package of accessories and upgrades.
GALLERY: Chevrolet SEMA Sonics
See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 SEMA Show preview here and look for coverage starting November 1st.
If the Transformers really wanted to blend in with Earth technology in order to fight the Decepticons, they probably wouldn’t have transformed into a rare Corvette prototype, a flame-job purple 18-wheeler, or a bright yellow Camaro. After all, those aren’t exactly inconspicuous. You know what is, however? A Chevrolet Cruze.
That’s why the Cruze gets the full Autobot treatment in China, where this car can pass by the crowds with nary a second glance. The small Chevy gets the bright-yellow treatment, with two oddly-mounted black stripes down the hood somewhere. Autobot badging on the wheels and fenders show off the owner’s allegiance, while illuminated Transformers door sills round out the package. The 1.6-liter Ecotec engine remains the same.
The Transformers Cruze is only available in China right now, and will probably not make it over to America. Because, after all, a transforming robot defender of freedom would be blasphemous if it packed anything smaller than a 6.2-liter V8.
General Motors has officially confirmed that there will be a diesel version of the Chevrolet Cruze compact car in the U.S, planned for introduction in 2013. The current Chevrolet Cruze Eco is rated at around 40 mpg on the highway, so the diesel would have to deliver significantly better fuel efficiency than that to justify a higher-price. GM CEO Dan Akerson commented on the diesel variant, ”I drove it the other day. It is great, these new diesels are quiet. Should make it in the low- to mid-40s, and that’s with an automatic,”.
Diesel engines on average get 20 percent to 40 percent better mileage than similar-sized gasoline engines but lately, diesel fuel in the U.S has averaged 5 percent to 10 percent more than regular gas. Diesel engines are also costlier than gas engies, and require complex emissions gear, upping the price of diesel vehicles. GM wouldnt release anything pertaining to the price or give other details about the diesel Cruze because production is more than a year away however, a Jetta diesel with an automatic costs $24,865 so the Cruze is likely to be competitively priced.
Check out Cruze Talk forums for more info
[Source: USA Today]
Nothing has been officially released but General Motors is not denying that the American automaker may introduce a two-door version of the Chevrolet Cruze. One source has suggested that the compact coupe maybe built in the Detroit suburb of Orion Township. The plant is getting ready to build the Chevrolet Sonic, a smaller car in the third quarter.
General Motors currently produces the four-door Cruze exclusively at the assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio but the car’s success has the plant operating at full capacity, even with overtime. The Cruse was America’s best-selling compact nameplate in May.
The Orion plant would fit well to manufacture the coupe as it is equipped to build multiple models and its innovative labour contract makes it more appealing to build a lower-volume niche model.
The Cruze model has been built in Europe as a race car giving the car a sportier image in North America. Whether or not the image campaign ultimately pays off is anyone’s guess but adding a sporty coupe to the lineup probably wouldn’t hurt.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
In North America, GM has replaced the Chevrolet Cobalt compact with the new Cruze sedan. However in South America, an all-new Chevy Cobalt has been revealed in pre-production form at the Buenos Aires Auto Show in Argentina(June 17-26).
The South American Cobalt will enter production in 2012 and will be offered in ethanol (flex fuel), gasoline and diesel engines. Engines range from a 1.3-liter to a 1.8-liter engine. Both automatic and manual transmissions will also be available.
The concept at the show came equipped with an aero kit offering a front and rear skirt, discreet rear spoiler, with 17-inch alloy wheels in 255/45 R17 tires and a twin exhaust.
The interior will also get two-tone leather seats, chrome trim, a double sunroof as well as an infotainment system equipped LCD screens integrated into the front headrests.
A few months ago the Granite concept, the darling of GMC’s display at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, was slated to enter production. But GM internal management never confirmed it, and the matter was dropped. Now, the GMC Granite has been given the go-ahead for production…again.
Motor Trend reports, from a source within GM, that the Granite will enter production—and will even keep the trick rear-hinged suicide doors from the 2010 concept. It rides on the same C-Segment platform that’s shared by the Chevrolets Volt and Cruze, the Buick Verano, and Opel Astra, and closely shares its floorpan (as well as its functionality and overall shape) with the Chevy Orlando, the too-hot-for-America mini-MPV that GM will sell in Europe, Asia, and Canada.
Except, well, the Granite is more “professional-grade,” which apparently means that the model will live on without a B-pillar, necessitating plenty of reinforcement from the quarter-panels to the roof. This might overwhelm the 138-horsepower turbo 1.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed transmission, that the Granite will share with the Cruze. Hopefully there will be other engine options available (such as the Buick Verano’s 177-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-four, as MT suggests) to ensure that the Granite won’t be as slow as its namesake.
It’s not yet clear if GMC intends to also go ahead with the Granite Compact Pick Up.
Excited to hear Tim Allen’s voice as the official voice of Chevrolet? The highly anticipated wait is finally over as Chevrolet has launched a pair of video ads on their new compact Cruze model that should be hitting dealerships any minute now. Both video ads are pretty standard in highlighting what the Cruze is about, but the first one is fairly daring, targeting one of the Cruze’s main competitors: Toyota’s Corolla.
While we’re not convinced that having standard keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation is enough for the Cruze to steer potential buyers to their vehicle over the Corolla, but we have to commend Chevrolet for taking a proactive approach in making their vehicles more attractive. (In fact, we were pleasantly surprised with the new Cruze).
The other video really just introduces the Cruze as the “new kid” on the block, highlighting all it offers at a cheaper price compared to its competitors. Is it enough to get the Cruze cruising off the lots and down the streets? We’re not sure, but at least it’s not your boring run-of-the-mill ad that doesn’t even strike any interest in the car.
Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com
Check out both video ads after the break:
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
GALLERY: 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Preview
Chevrolet has announced major plans to expand not just its product offerings but also its sales totals in Europe over the next five years. The Chevy brand in Europe is planning the introduction of six new models in the near future and believes these new offerings will help it double its current sales totals in the region.
The list of new vehicles includes the Spark city car (above) and Orlando seven-seat MPV (below left), as well as the Cruze compact and Volt (below right) and a new version of the Aveo. All five of these models are also scheduled for the U.S. market in the near future. In addition, Europe will also get a Cruze hatchback.
Currently Chevy has just eight vehicles in Europe and according to Chevy Europe president Wayne Brannon, the market can sustain 12 or 13 different vehicles. (Some of the new Chevy offerings will replace outgoing models). The doubling of sales by 2015 should see Chevrolet selling as many as one million units a year in Europe.
Chevy Cruze also slated to get turbo-four
GM’s interim CEO Fritz Henderson is starting to open up on some of the company’s fuel-efficiency plans and the future involves a pair of turbocharged four-cylinders.
The first turbo-four will be offered in the new Buick LaCrosse but won’t be available immediately. Currently the LaCrosse is slated to get a standard 3.0-liter V6 that makes 255hp thanks to direct injection. The larger optional engine is a direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 which makes 280hp.
It’s not clear what size or output the new turbo engine will provide but if the Envicta concept on which the LaCrosse is based it could be a 2.0-liter engine with 250hp and 220 ft-lbs of torque. It could, however, a a version of the Ecotec 2.4 or even a direct-injection version of the turbo 2.0-liter currently offered in the Cobalt SS.
This would fit in between the two V6 options, although it’s not clear that the 3.0-liter six would continue on past the introduction of the turbo-four.
Little more is known about the second turbocharged four-cylinder, which will sit as the base engine in the upcoming Chevy Cruz. It will be just a 1.4-liter four-banger and while actual output figures are not available they will likely be in the 150hp range.
Henderson also confirmed that the Corvette will live on in a V8 rear-wheel drive package. He did, however, reiterate the company’s position that the Pontiac G8 will not survive past 2010