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Canadian Press: THE CANADIAN PRESS

LORDSTOWN, Ohio - General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) plans to invest more than US$500 million in the United States to build a new compact car that will compete in an era of high gasoline prices.

Company chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner announced the size of the investment Thursday at the Lordstown, Ohio factory near Cleveland. The sprawling complex now makes the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 small cars, which have become popular with drivers because of their high fuel mileage.

GM announced in June that the Lordstown factory would be retooled to make the new Chevrolet Cruze compact.

The US$500 million investment includes $350 million for Lordstown. The company also will build 1.4-litre engines for the Cruze at a new factory to be built in Flint, Mich.

The Cruze will be launched in Europe and Asia next year. It will come to North America in the second half of 2010.

The new car is expected to get around 72 kilograms per U.S. gallon on the highway. The most efficient 2009 Cobalt or G5 with a manual transmission gets up to 59 kilometres per gallon, GM says.

"Our goal is for the Chevrolet Cruze to lead in fuel economy in this very competitive car segment," Wagoner said in a statement.

The investment in Lordstown, about 80 kilometres southeast of Cleveland, is good news for a region hit hard by the demise of the U.S. steel industry.

GM already is adding a third shift at the Lordstown assembly plant to keep up with heavy demand for Cobalts.

Cobalt sales were up 16.4 per cent through the first seven months of the year, while G5 sales were down about one per cent.

More...http://www.cbc.ca/cp/business/080821/b0821103A.html
 

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Great news on the amount of investment GM is putting into making a car with class leading fuel economy. And not with some low-tech, cheap-out, wimpified engine either --- but with a cool little turbocharged number.

I do hope that GM has plans already in the works for variants of this car...beyond a re-grilled Pontiac, or just a 2-door.

Of course I'm looking forward to a wagon...and not a retro-styled one.
 

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Great news on the amount of investment GM is putting into making a car with class leading fuel economy. And not with some low-tech, cheap-out, wimpified engine either --- but with a cool little turbocharged number.

I do hope that GM has plans already in the works for variants of this car...beyond a re-grilled Pontiac, or just a 2-door.

Of course I'm looking forward to a wagon...and not a retro-styled one.
No rebadges please. But a big yes for a wagon!
 

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This-a nicely-styled vehicle with some real attractive and top-of-the-niche features along with a presumably reasonable sticker-is the way in which GM will return to its former glorious self. And this transformation must largely come from within.
 

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The new car is expected to get around 72 kilograms per U.S. gallon on the highway. The most efficient 2009 Cobalt or G5 with a manual transmission gets up to 59 kilometres per gallon, GM says.
those wacky Canadians and their obscure measurements, gosh darnit, i want 85 kiloGRAMS per US Gallon, not just 72, more more more.

:)

(Aussie who understands the metric system much better)
 

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This is outrageous!!! Why does Europe get it in 2009 and we here in the States have to wait almost 2 years. I do not understand this. I am sick and tired of Europe, Australia and now it seems even all of Asia getting great product before the US. Sometiimes US doesn't get it at all. This makes no sense. They have the product right now and they chose to wait another 2 years to sell it.

I guess GM is waiting for Honda and Toyota to redesign their cars just in time to compete with the "2 Year old Chevrolet Cruz.

I can not believe this asinine decision GM. If they don't have the factory ready in Ohio now then they should import them for the next 2 years until Lordstown is up and running and then they can export Euro versions back acraoss the pond. What ever it takes. The absolute latest that this car should be on sale in the United States is in the fall of 2009 as a 2010 model.

Enough with the rant for now. Cruz is an extraordinarily good looking car. I hope we see Coupe and Wagon versions soon. Dare I hope for a Ragtop? GM did do the Astra Twin top...which they also did not sell in the US. Idiots!
 

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It most likely has to do with the life span of the Cobalt, any type of contracts that were made with the local and state goverment, and perhaps financial reasons.
Remember the contracts that GM makes with suppliers to keep producing parts for the car for x amount of years. That contract was signed and money was spent on that years ago.
Currently, the Delta II platform is ready to be launch in Europe as they get the first of teh world Delta II platform, and then just like ti was years ago and how the cobalt launched after the Astra, this will happen just the same.
Remember its not as easy to just make a car as wave a magic wand.
 

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No rebadges please. But a big yes for a wagon!
I hope you are right, but in the words of bigals: "Let the rebadging commence!!!".
 

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I was thinking about the Cobalt's life span, and as the car was new for the 2005 model year, I'm not surprised that they probably inked contracts to keep this generation of the Cobalt alive through to the 2011 model year. Things were a lot different in 2003/2004 when plans were made and GM probably didn't figure a house-is-on-fire need to have the Delta II product ready to go for spring 2009. They probably didn't even know if Lordstown would be a viable plant, future investment was probably dependent on the outcome of the recent UAW negotiations.

Well, hats off to Honda and Toyota for their small cars that rule the market today. I personally was underwhelmed by the 2007 Corolla I test drove, but the dud sells. And I guarantee you if GM had made the '04 Ion look like today's Civic, the thing would have bombed. Saturn would have been assailed from its horrible out-there styling. Slap an H on it and it sells. How else could you explain the success of the ugly, ugly MDX? I also see way too many new TSXs running around. Brand image is everything.
 

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The plan was for an MCE for the Cobalt for the MY09 I belive.
That in itself was canned to push the new one for 2011. We were gunna get a new Cobalt/Cruze in 2013 or later before the push.
So, it was already pushed foward by up to 3 model years.
 

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The plan was for an MCE for the Cobalt for the MY09 I belive.
That in itself was canned to push the new one for 2011. We were gunna get a new Cobalt/Cruze in 2013 or later before the push.
So, it was already pushed foward by up to 3 model years.
Wow, I really hope that would have been a very significant refresh. Its too competitive these days, car companies can't let products go that long without significant redesigns (e.g. Delta I to Delta II). See Ford and its ancient US Focus.
 

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Yeah......i know. My friend drives a 1989 Acura Legend with 203,000 miles on it. He keeps driving it because it just keeps going. It drives amazing for its age, I even get a kick out of driving it. You might see it driving around Cary, windvale. Its got that nice southern sun-scorched fade in its blue paint.
 

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Great news on the amount of investment GM is putting into making a car with class leading fuel economy. And not with some low-tech, cheap-out, wimpified engine either --- but with a cool little turbocharged number.

I do hope that GM has plans already in the works for variants of this car...beyond a re-grilled Pontiac, or just a 2-door.

Of course I'm looking forward to a wagon...and not a retro-styled one.
If gm is putting their proverbial "eggs in one basket", they might as well give divisions specific variants with different sheetmetal and interior options depending on what division gets the car. (ie a chevy that pleases 85% of people, pontiac gets a racier trim including performance pkgs that wouldn't be available on the chevy, and a saturn that has more of a euro type of feel type to it that people who consider pontiac and chevy too plain to drive)
 

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It most likely has to do with the life span of the Cobalt, any type of contracts that were made with the local and state goverment, and perhaps financial reasons.
Remember the contracts that GM makes with suppliers to keep producing parts for the car for x amount of years. That contract was signed and money was spent on that years ago.
Currently, the Delta II platform is ready to be launch in Europe as they get the first of teh world Delta II platform, and then just like ti was years ago and how the cobalt launched after the Astra, this will happen just the same.
Remember its not as easy to just make a car as wave a magic wand.
That's a sensible and well-thought post. I think some guys expect GM to just change overnight. A lot of these programs were in planning well before the "fuel crisis." Pfft. Fuel crisis.:lmao:
 

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Keeping the Cobalt around might not be a bad idea now that I think about it. It can become more or less Chevrolet's 'Logan'. Simplify the Cobalt into one or two models with few options... make it safe and economical and very affordable, but leave out all the high-end options. Leave that to the Cruze. That frees up the Cruze from being an entry-level vehicle and lets the Cobalt live on as the value choice for a few more years.
 

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Dare I hope for a Ragtop?
As Cleavon Little said in Blazing Saddles, "Dare! Dare!"

I lamented the lack of an inexpensive 4 seat pracitical & fun convertible as walked by a last generation Cavalier convertible on the street. If the kappas can be affordable while on a dedicated platform, a Cruze derived convertible could surely be too. I think that an inexpensive Cruze based 4 seat convertible with a useful trunk could sell better than the kappas (for reference only, intent should not be to replace them since the cars would have different missions) since it wouldn't be as much of a weekend toy. A soft top would be appropriate in this size range, and double lining/insulation can make soft tops very civilized while being MUCH less expensive/space intensive than engineering/accommodating a folding hardtop. Suspension/steering tune should be sportier/firmer than the base sedan, and the sedan/coupe performance options should be available.

Basically, I imagine an affordable, competently designed compact 4 seat soft top with a mix of practicality, economy, and fun.

I don't expect a Cruze convertible though, I wonder if they'll even do a coupe or wagon.
 

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As Cleavon Little said in Blazing Saddles, "Dare! Dare!"

I lamented the lack of an inexpensive 4 seat pracitical & fun convertible as walked by a last generation Cavalier convertible on the street. If the kappas can be affordable while on a dedicated platform, a Cruze derived convertible could surely be too. I think that an inexpensive Cruze based 4 seat convertible with a useful trunk could sell better than the kappas (for reference only, intent should not be to replace them since the cars would have different missions) since it wouldn't be as much of a weekend toy. A soft top would be appropriate in this size range, and double lining/insulation can make soft tops very civilized while being MUCH less expensive/space intensive than engineering/accommodating a folding hardtop. Suspension/steering tune should be sportier/firmer than the base sedan, and the sedan/coupe performance options should be available.

Basically, I imagine an affordable, competently designed compact 4 seat soft top with a mix of practicality, economy, and fun.

I don't expect a Cruze convertible though, I wonder if they'll even do a coupe or wagon.
I don't expect a convertible form Cruz either but I do agree we need and a small 4 seat convertible in the US market. Maybe GM will suprise us...I doubt it! I guess i'll have to get a used Saab 9-3 to replace my aging 1994 Custlass Supreme Convertible. I like the G6 but I'm spooked about the hard top mechanism. I just know that somthing is going to go wrong with it in a few years. Worst of all there is no trunk space when the top is down. I'd take a high quality convertible with a black sail cloth soft top any day.
 
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