The GM brass have merely shrugged off the thought of a Chevrolet Cruze hatch, wagon, and coupe here in the United States. Despite this, Honda offers variants of the Civic, Volkswagen the Jetta/Golf, Ford the Focus, Kia the Forte, and Hyundai will soon offer variants of the Elantra.
So, why the reluctance? Money. As usual. GM figures that if it can keep tooling costs down in American plants such as the Lordstown plant where the North American-market Cruze is made today, the company can keep its profits up. According to Automotive News, GM CEO Dan Akerson and CFO Dan Ammann have outlined a goal of increasing global profit margins to 10 percent within the next several years, compared to 6 percent last year. They argue that adding tooling to U.S. assembly plants necessary to build a Cruze wagon/hatch/coupe would add costs and therefore cut into profits.
Sounds like they’re being cheap to us. Despite this, the Cruze remains one of the best-selling cars in the segment, without any variation of body type. At least the diesel-powered Cruze Eco-D is coming. If you want something outside of a sedan body style, there’s pretty much everything but the Cruze. But if you want a more athletic domestic compact than what is seen in the Cruze, there’s the upcoming Ford Focus ST as well as the Dodge Dart RT. And whatever happened to targeting the Millennial/under 35 demographic who share minimal animosity towards wagons and can’t quite afford/don’t want a crossover?