Earlier this week, General Motors announced it will introduce a market-specific Chevrolet Cruze for the Chinese market sometime this year which will utilize the Opel-developed line of Ecotec small engines. The same engines will then find their way into the next-generation Cruze destined for major markets such as North America and South Korea when it is introduced at a later date. However that won’t include Australia, who according to GoAuto, will have to wait three more years until the new line of Ecotec engines arrives in the country.
The current Cruze is built at Holden’s doomed Elizabeth plant in South Australia alongside the Commodore. GoAuto says production of the Cruze will continue at the plant until its impending shutdown in 2017 and it won’t receive the new line of Ecotec engines until the all-new model arrives.
It is currently unclear when other small Holden models, such as the Barina, Spark and Trax, will receive the new line of Ecotec engines, which will range from a 1.0 liter turbocharged unit set to debut in the Opel Adam, to a 1.5 liter four-cylinder unit destined for use in the new Chinese-market Cruze.
“The first iteration of the next-gen Cruze will be announced later this year in China,” Holden’s executive director of corporate affairs, George Svigos, told GoAuto in an interview. “This all-new 2015 Cruze was developed specifically for consumer tastes and needs in China. Differentiated variants will be available in other markets. We have no additional info about those variants to announce today.”
Holden must now decide whether to discontinue production of the current-generation Cruze once an import model is available from an outside source, possibly GM Korea, or to keep producing the current model until the indefinite closure of the Elizabeth plant in October of 2017.