Cruze in con­trol

Holden’s new hatch puts small-car ri­vals — and even the Com­modore — on their met­tle

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

than 4400 ahead (or 20 per cent) of its 2010 year-to-date fig­ures, while Com­modore is down by 2600 or 7.6 per cent.

The Cruze is sec­ond only to Com­modore’s main ri­val for the No. 1 car spot over­all— the Mazda3— in small car sales, even with­out a hatch.

The Holden work­force is also aim­ing for top spot for qual­ity, ac­cord­ing to ve­hi­cle op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor Richard Phillips. He says the Ade­laide car is built to global cri­te­ria but the com­pany has am­bi­tions to build the best-qual­ity Cruze in the world.

‘‘ There are now seven plants around the world mak­ing it and we’re amongst the fron­trun­ners,’’ he says.

‘‘ We do want to get to the po­si­tion where, in­side Gen­eral Mo­tors, the Cruze built here is meet­ing the high­est qual­ity. This month we’re on the podium but it’s a con­stant fight to keep every­thing right.’’

Cruze pro­gram en­gi­neer­ing man­ager Peter Si­ab­lis says the hatch (which mir­rors the sedan range) has been en­gi­neered for Aus­tralian driv­ing and roads.

‘‘ We clocked up a fur­ther 140,000km test­ing the new Cruze hatch on lo­cal roads, which helped us de­velop a num­ber of en­hance­ments for the hatch which we’ve also ap­plied to the model year 2012 Cruze sedan,’’ he says.

‘‘ Changes we’ve made im­prove steer­ing re­sponse, ride qual­ity and add a sense of re­fine­ment to the over­all driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ he says.

The hatch has started pro­duc­tion— its of­fi­cial launch is next month— and Holden chair­man and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mike Dev­ereux says it’s a demon­stra­tion of the El­iz­a­beth plant’s flex­i­bil­ity.

Ready to roll: Cruze hatch pro­duc­tion has started and Holden prom­ises im­proved ride qual­ity

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