Holden in Cruze con­trol

Name aside, this car’s com­ing our way, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

SWAP the Chevro­let badge for a Holden lion and this car is the next Viva. No one at Fish­er­mans Bend will con­firm it, but the car called Cruze is def­i­nitely com­ing to Holden show­rooms. The only real ques­tion is the name: Viva or Cruze? There will be changes, prob­a­bly in the sus­pen­sion and de­tail­ing, but Holden in­sid­ers say the Cruze is a clear pointer to the com­ing Viva.

They also hope it will hold the price at $18,490 but de­liver bet­ter qual­ity and safety.

But don’t ex­pect any­one at GM Holden to go on the record. ‘‘We haven’t con­firmed this is a pro­gram in Aus­tralia yet,’’ Kate Lond­sale says.

She will not be drawn on the po­ten­tial name for the car, or a switch to Cruze af­ter its ear­lier use on a small SUV in Aus­tralia.

‘‘This would be a ques­tion for our mar­ket­ing team. We can­not make any an­nounce­ments about a car we haven’t con­firmed. It would be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion that we’ve had the name­plate here be­fore,’’ she says.

The Cruze has just been re­vealed as a Chevro­let in of­fi­cial pic­tures and will be un­veiled at the Paris Mo­tor Show next month.

It will be on sale in Europe next year, which points to­wards a Holden ef­fort late next year once global de­vel­op­ment cre­ates a spin-off car for the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

The Cruze is a sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment for Gen­eral Motors be­cause it will be the com­pany’s first truly global new-car project. The ‘‘home room’’ for the pro­gram is in Europe, but there will be lo­cal tai­lor­ing for re­gional tastes and price points.

GM Holden is keen to get the Cruze be­cause it is the first of the sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion ve­hi­cles it will take from Dae­woo in Korea. The first gen­er­a­tion, in­clud­ing the un­der­done Ba­rina that has just had a sub­stan­tial safety tweak, was al­ready com­plete be­fore Holden forged its de­vel­op­ment ties with Dae­woo.

The new cars com­ing— in­clud­ing the Cruze and an all-new Ba­rina, Epica and Cap­tiva — will have much greater Holden in­put in ev­ery­thing from styling and safety to qual­ity and per­for­mance. Chevro­let de­scribes its Cruze as ‘‘an en­tirely global car that will go on sale in all con­ti­nents’’. The ba­sic de­sign, with its an­gu­lar four-door body, ties it to the new Vaux­hall In­signia. In­side, Chevro­let trum­pets a ‘‘twin-cock­pit de­sign’’ it says was taken from the brand’s ear­lier mus­cle cars.

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