New Cruze priced competitively


By Kalea Hall

khall@vindy.com

LORDSTOWN

New look, new features and a competitive price are all factors analysts say will give the Lordstown-built Chevrolet Cruze an edge against its competition.

On Wednesday, Chevrolet announced pricing on the 2016 Cruze starting at $17,495 for the Cruze L manual transmission and going up to $23,995 for the Cruze Premier Automatic.

“It’s got the elements of the cars who continue to do well in this truck-happy market,” said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book.

The Cruze, a compact car, will enter a market where sales of larger vehicles are trending up when it hits sales floors next spring.

But it comes with what Chevrolet says sets it apart from the competition. Those features include a sleek design, more room than the previous model, a range of active safety features, depending on the model, and more technology, such as the standard Chevrolet MyLink radio with a 7-inch-diagonal screen, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

“To get the bang for the buck ... the Chevy Cruze knocks it out of the park,” said Glenn Johnson, president of the United Auto Workers Local 1112, who represents close to 3,000 assembly plant workers at the General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant.

The 2016 Cruze’s predecessor has been a leading compact car with soaring sales in the past but has seen a slowdown in recent months as it nears the end of its nearly five-year production cycle.

Pricing on the new Cruze comes in at $2,000 less than the 2016 Honda Civic LX of $19,475. The 2016 Cruze L model’s suggested retail price without shipping fees is $16,620. That’s compared with the starting retail price for a 2015 Cruze of $16,170, according to chevydealer.com.

The new Cruze will be offered in L, LS, LT and Premier models. Suggested retail pricing: L manual, $17,495; LS manual, $18,995; LS automatic, $19,995; LT automatic, $21,995; and Premier automatic, $23,995.

Automakers in the car segment have felt the pressure to make sure the cars in their portfolio can compete with other cars and the larger vehicles.

“They basically have to be the cream of the crop,” Brauer said.

Cars have to be the newest, the most advanced and have the best pricing to pack a punch in the competitive segment and market.

“If you have all three that’s even better,” Brauer said.

Stacey Doyle, senior analyst at TrueCar, also thought pricing the new Cruze below the competition was a smart move by Chevrolet.

“It is priced very attractively and it is a solid product,” Doyle said of the Cruze.

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