Chevrolet appears to be planning to launch the new, American-market Cruze in China, GM Authority has uncovered.
In its sales report for June, GM china wrote earlier this month that “the all-new Cruze passenger car will be launched this quarter”. And now, a splash page on Chevy’s Chinese website shows a picture of the all-new, American-market Cruze, which is currently not sold in the Chinese market.
Two Different Cruzen
To note, there are two versions of the all-new Chevrolet Cruze based on GM’s new D2 platform. The first was launched in late 2014 and is available exclusively in that market. The second is the model sold in the Americas — North and South America.
Despite sharing a common name and the underlying D2XX platform, the two models are quite different: the model on sale in China features different styling, has a smaller footprint, and features less high-end features than the model currently sold in the Americas.
Cruze XL Nameplate
If Chevy is indeed planning to launch the larger Cruze in China, then we expect the vehicle to be given the Cruze XL name. The practice would be similar to Chevrolet selling the all-new, ninth-generation Malibu as the Malibu XL in China, while marketing the outgoing, eighth-generation model simply as Malibu.
Offering both the new and outgoing models allows Chevrolet to reach a lower price point. For instance: the all-new Malibu XL has a starting price of 179,000 CNY ($26,800 USD), while the outgoing Malibu has a more affordable starting price of 164,900 CNY ($24,605 USD).
Requests for comments and clarification of GM China’s statement and website photo were not returned by the time of publication. We will update this story if/when we do hear back.
The GM Authority Take
Based on the statement and photo described above, we truly believe that it’s only a matter of time before the Cruze currently on sale in America is manufactured and sold in China, alongside the existing D2-based Cruze. Such a vehicle should help Chevy’s faltering sales in the world’s largest automotive market. The only question now is whether Chevy will sell the American-market Cruze exclusively as a four-door sedan, or if it will also offer the upcoming five-door Cruze hatchback.