It’s common knowledge that the Chevy Cruze is a very good, if not the best, compact car on the market today. Heck, it sold over 20,000 units in the month of February alone. But why is The General limiting the Cruze’s success in North America by only selling the sedan and omitting the hatchback and wagon?
Granted, maybe having all three — the sedan, hatch, and wagon — in North America would be too much variety. In that case, why not bring the hatch to the States while leaving the wagon for European consumption? Before you answer, have a look at Ford, which is doing just that with its Focus line. The Focus outsold the Cruze last month in the U.S., by the way, in no small part due to the variety and choice the Focus offers in the sedan and 5-door hatch. So why the Cruze hatch hasn’t reached American shores yet is beyond us.
Simply put, Chevy needs to bring the hatch to the States. Here are the three top-most reasons for doing so:
Every player that matters in the mainstream compact segment offers a hatch variant of its compact sedan offering, including:
- Toyota Matrix
- Kia Forte 5-door
- Hyundai Elantra GT
- Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
- Ford Focus 5-door Hatch
- Mazda 3 5-door
- Subaru Impreza 5-door
- VW Golf 5-door
To say there isn’t any demand for a compact five-door hatch is like saying that most people still want white-wall tires. Outdated.
Have you seen the Cruze hatch? It’s not a staid, plain, boring version of its three-box sedan counterpart. The hatch, with its rakish tail, is beautiful. And no matter what the going notion is about U.S. car buyers having some sort of a disdain for hatchbacks, Ford seems to be doing just fine selling theirs.
We’re sure that the Cruze hatch will not sell in as high numbers as the sedan in North America. But it will certainly add volume to the nameplate. Our guess is that offering the hatch will increase sales somewhere in the vicinity of 5,000 units a month — representing about 25 percent of Cruze sedan sales.
What’s more, the business case for making the hatchback available here is a no-brainer: add it to Lordstown production in Ohio, modify some aspects of the assembly to accommodate the revised rear-end, and badabing badaboom — you’ve got a more complete lineup of compact offerings.
So, there’s ample evidence that the Cruze five-door hatchback will result in nothing but good things for Chevy. Any arguments against?