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