Or­lando blooms

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad - NEIL DOWL­ING

THE words sexy and peo­ple­mover have fi­nally been squeezed into one sen­tence as GMlaunches its Aussie-born Or­lando mini­van.

But the word missing in the sen­tence is Aus­tralia.

Holden spokes­woman Emily Perry this week con­firmed that, al­though the com­pany played a piv­otal role in de­vel­op­ing the Or­lando, which is based on the Cruze plat­form, it doesn’t make a strong busi­ness case in Aus­tralia.

The five-door, front-drive cross­over wagon was shown this week in Italy — prior to its March launch — as the Chevro­let Or­lando.

It is pro­moted as hav­ing ‘‘the driv­ing dy­nam­ics of a pas­sen­ger car, the look of an SUV and the ver­sa­til­ity and cargo space of a mini­van’’.

Chevro­let is tar­get­ing Euro­pean buy­ers who may want to down­size from a seven-seat large mini­van to a medium mini­van that of­fers five seats for adults and two ad­di­tional seats for chil­dren in a third row.

The Korean-built van will not be avail­able in the US.

The Or­lando is to be ‘‘ag­gres­sively priced’’ against the Ford Grand C-Max and Opel/Vaux­hall Zafira.

Chevro­let says the Or­lando will cost 15 per cent less than com­peti­tors fit­ted with the same stan­dard equip­ment.

Chevro­let plans to sell about 60,000 Or­lan­dos in its first full year of sales in Europe.

Chevro­let Europe man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Wayne Bran­non says the Or­lando will play a key role in the brand’s plans to boost its Euro­pean pres­ence by 2016 to cover two thirds of the mar­ket seg­ments, up from a quar­ter now.

Chevro­let’s up­com­ing Euro­pean launches dove­tail with Aus­tralia.

It gets the re­vamped Captiva SUV in March, a new Aveo (Ba­rina here) sub­com­pact in the sec­ond quar­ter fol­lowed by a five-door Cruze hatch­back in the third quar­ter.

Stylish: the Or­lando will be aimed at the Euro­pean mar­ket.

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