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Cruze rollout fuels great expectations



Published: Wed, September 8, 2010 @ 12:00 a.m.

IF YOU GO

When: 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. today.

Where: GM Lordstown Complex East, 2300 Hallock-Young Road. Celebration will be in front of the administration building.

Who: GM North America President Mark Reuss, Gov. Ted Strickland, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, Lordstown Mayor Michael Chaffee, leaders of United Auto Workers Locals 1112 and 1714 and many others.

local business and community leaders.

By Grace Wyler

By GRACE WYLER

gwyler@vindy.com

lordstown

Expectations are high as General Motors prepares to roll out its 2011 Chevrolet Cruze, a Lordstown-built compact that has been deemed critical to the company’s new lineup.

GM officially launches the Cruze with a high-profile kickoff at the Lordstown complex at 10:30 a.m. today. Mark Reuss, GM’s North America president, will join union leaders and elected officials to extol the virtues of the new car.

After decades of lagging behind foreign automakers in the compact segment, GM is depending on the Cruze to rebuild its standing in that market.

The growth of Japanese automakers such as Honda and Toyota has depended on their strong models in the compact and midsize segments, said Doug Scott, a consultant with GFK Automotive.

With the Chevrolet Malibu already competing against other midsize models such as the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry, Chevrolet is depending on the Cruze for “a one-two punch,” Scott said.

“You need a small and midsize car to have a really great car brand, and now Chevy has that,” he said. “Without the Cruze, GM would stumble along.”

While the volume of Cruze sales will be an important measure of the car’s success, GM is relying on the new model to help its reputation more than its bottom line, said James Bell, an executive market analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

A successful Cruze launch could bolster public perception about GM — still derisively referred to by some as “Government Motors” — as the company prepares for an initial public stock offering this fall, Bell said. The IPO would likely end the federal government’s majority ownership of GM.

“If the Cruze is successful, it will boost the entire company,” he said. “It will do a lot for its overall reputation.”

The Cruze also is an important part of the company’s rebranding strategy, which aims to show buyers that Chevrolet has more to offer than trucks and sport utility vehicles, Bell said.

“They hope this will tap a market that, for 30 years, has ignored Chevrolet,” he added.

This week, Chevrolet launched a Cruze advertising campaign to lure small-car consumers who may have ignored the company in the past. Two 30-second commercials, narrated by actor Tim Allen, hit airwaves Tuesday.

The ads, featuring the new Cruze tagline “Get used to more,” highlight the car’s modern features, such as OnStar navigation and Bluetooth wireless connections.

The marketing campaign will target first-time car buyers in their 20s and “empty-nesters,” customers between age 45 and 60 who are looking for a smaller, more fuel-efficient car after their children leave home, said Margaret Brooks, Chevrolet’s small-car marketing director.

“We think the Cruze is going to bring a lot of new buyers to Chevrolet,” Brooks said. “We see this as an opportunity to take that one, last high-volume segment and come in with a really great product.”


Comments

1YSUGRAD(134 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

GM = Government Motors

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2YSUGRAD(134 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

keyshawn8, this site is for making political statements not advertising you're 2nd rate insurance...

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3lee(544 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like the same thing they said when the Saturn came out, and that worked so well

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4detfan(5 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

LOL Fairand Equal. What a piece of work you are. "Don't buy GM" LOL. That's the way you figure GM can make profits? You sound like a union thug, making demands or else!! Well, shake alll the rattles you want, but you are not stopping GM from their tremendous turnaround and Renassaince. Every launch over the last 4 or 5 years has been absolutely outstanding. My 2008 Chevy Malibu has been the best GM vehicle I've owned, and a Chevy Cruze is going to my daughter, because it is the best compact car made now. So keep your sour grapes, and grow some. Your whining is not attractive.

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5Billybob21(96 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

The cruze is going to be a great car. Gm is deffiently making the right choice. It makes me sick to come on here and read all this negativity on here about Gm and the cruze> You people need to wake up. If it wasnt for gm you wouldnt have the money to buy that foriegn piece of juke you have in you drive way. And you and your family members wouldnt have jobs. SO before you bad talk gm and the cruze look around and what you got and be thankfull oo and dont put my american flag on your foriegn piece of junk. Unpatriotic people

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6Valleys_Voice(149 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

@ detfan, thanks for your patronage, I hope other follow in your footsteps.

@ fairandequal, every rant you've posted in the last week that I've seen is anti-GM. Shut up...

@ everyone else, GM is a great company and I wish them the best, I hope you do too.

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7Billybob21(96 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree with you on the S-10 Sonoma but thats about it Saturn and The Cobalt where great cars and alot of people have cobalts. Yea what GM did with the retierees wasn't the best thing but they had to do what they had to do to survive. The retiress milked from gm all those years making $25 $30 dollers an hour. They where making great money well then instead of spending it on boats and luxerys they should have saved some of it and been smart. I dont feel sorry for them one bit.

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8Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Fair You did not work for GM you worked for Delphi you were where not a member of the UAW / IUE . Your choice and you know it . The more you badmouth GM and the UAW/IUE the less help your going to get . Did you show up at the meetings the union had to get salary to form a union. My bet is you did not , I think you were one of those under the desk. And thank you for buying a non GM car and supporting your neighbors . You must be a real asset to your community .Plus you get your pension just not your supplement . And GM does not pay for retirees health care the union does . And you turned down getting in the union.

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9walter_sobchak(1977 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Valleys_Voice,

GM is a great company? By what yardstick do you make that assessment?

GM is a classic failure of a company that is top heavy and to big to mind itself. Unfortunately, they abandoned the core business priniples that allowed it to be the world's largest automaker. All of the American car companies had a world monopoly after WWII and it lasted about 25 years or so. The oil embargo made their gas hogs expensive to operate so people turned to the Japanese cars which wer small, cheap, and dependable.

Do you really believe the American car companies would have changed their ways if not for the imports? They would still be peddling junk and we would still be blindly buying it. The foreign automakers clobbered the Americans on styling, fit, and performance. Just look at the demographic breakdown of the buyers of GM products. I believe the Buick line is somewhere in the Mid-60's. GM has totally lost the young market.

So, GM had to go to Uncle Sam, hat in hand, begging to be helped because of their mismanagement. It was only because of Bamster paying back the UAW that they were helped. And, it was management giving the unions way too much just to keep the junk rolling off the line. I mean, who in their right mind would have agreed to a jobs bank where people got paid to do nothing? These types of companies deserve to be out of business. If it were me, I would have told GM to bite the bullet and clean up their own mess.

And, as long as GM treats the salaried retirees of Delphi the way they have, ethically, I can't support this company. I will buy a Ford.

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10iBuck(226 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

So, we're supposed to be enthusiastic about yet another over-priced, under-powered, inefficient (that tiny of a box should be getting 50mpg in town and 60mpg on the highway by now), too small, too light, too plastic (easily breakable plastic), low RAM (reliability, availability, maintainability), too clunky box on wheels?

The remark about Saturn is appropriate. Their concept car looked OK at the time, and there was all that talk about a completely new plant, new tools, new kinds of tools, working with the employees in alliance for mutual benefit... but it was just the same old same old scamming.

Yes, I do have some sympathy for the former employees of the spun-off, hollowed out Delphi, but the UAW guys have also been getting ridiculous contract terms for 50 years, while the company execs have, e.g. been intentionally under-investing in the production workers' pension funds since at least the mid-1980s.

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11detfan(5 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Fairandequal, you know you are making more people mad at you than at GM. Your rants and cries of injustice obviously is falling on deaf ears. And it should. Your lone voice in the wilderness is not stopping the GM Renassaince. By the way, while it was never reported anywhere that I've seen, GM passed Toyota in Global sales in the second quarter. Not bad, after going thru a season of hell. GM is rolling, and they are not through with outstanding launches yet. My family has now traded in, or otherwise sold non GM vehicles, and are now driving what they say are the best vehicles they've owned. That's 9 non GM cars or suv's gone, and 9 new GM vehicles in our family. Everyone who doubts, just needs to go drive the competitors vehicles, and then drive the GM one. You will see, I promise.

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12detfan(5 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Walter sobchak, get your facts straight. GM had to go to the government because the credit market had frozen in September 2008. So be it. Ford narrowly escaped the same fate by betting the farm earlier in 2008, and now has triple the debt of GM. Now, GM has paid back all the federal loans and they are ready for their first IPO that will reduce the federal share to a minority amount. As GM successfully has regained its stature with industry leading vehicles, profits are now following, giving GM the ability to continue to compete against the rest of the auto industry, and grow their business. No other auto manufactures sales can compare with GM's 4 brands over the last year. Nobody's.

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13detfan(5 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

ibuck, LOL. I don't know what your problem is but you have no facts in your post. What is the mileage for a Honda Civic? A Toyota Corolla? A Nissan Sentra? A Ford Focus? Answer--less than that of the Chevy Cruze!! Which car is larger? The Chevy Cruze!! Which car has more features at each trim level? THe Chevy Cruze. Which has the highest quality interior? The Chevy Cruze.The remark about Saturn is not well taken, except that the last generation of Saturns lineup were actually very, very good. The Chevy Cruze is a world car, developed jointly by 5 different engineering entities globally within GM. If you people want to post, you should be factual, or just do a short post that simply says you don't like GM.

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14walter_sobchak(1977 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

detfan,

My facts are straight. Ford made a calculated business decision and succeeded on its own. GM used govt loans and repaid most of it back with other govt bailout money. It is a scam. Not to mention the stockholders and bondholders that can use the original GM paper to wipe their a$$es with. GM problem lies in their own mismanagement. And, FairandEqual has valid points. My current Chevy will be the last one until they turn this ethically challenged company around.

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