At a news conference announcing GM's Lordstown, OH plant will receive a hot $350 million cash injection to build the new Chevrolet Cruze in the United States, GM CEO Rick Wagoner revealed a full-size foam model of the new 2011 compact replacement to the Chevy Cobalt. As we reported yesterday, the new Chevy Cruze will be revealed officially at the Paris Motor Show (so we can see that brand-spankin' new interior in person) and is scheduled to go on sale in March 2009 in Europe, where it will be available with 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter gasoline engines and a 2.0-liter turbodiesel. GM has not yet made a commitment on engine options to be offered here in the United States when the Lordston plan starts pumping out the little econoboxes by mid-2010 other than the already announced 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Full press release below the jump.
GM Announces $500 Million Investment for New Small Car New Chevrolet Cruze to be built in Lordstown, Ohio All-new Chevrolet Cruze Features Dramatic Design (Press Release) Lordstown, OHIO – General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner today announced that the company will invest more than $500 million in the U.S. to build the Chevrolet Cruze, an all-new global compact car. The vehicle will be built at its Lordstown, Ohio plant. The Chevy Cruze will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in a few short weeks. In a surprise move, the investment announcement was accompanied by a glimpse of the Cruze life-size show property. The investment in Lordstown is one of several that have been announced at U.S. plants in the past five years, adding up to over $2 billion total investment in Ohio and more than $20 billion in the United States. "One of the key reasons for the success of the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 is the Lordstown workforce and the strong partnerships with the UAW and local and state officials," Wagoner said. "Based on the quality of work and these strong partnerships, we are pleased to announce our plans to invest another $500 million in the Chevy Cruze product program in the U.S., including more than $350 million in Lordstown." Ed Peper, GMNA vice president of Chevrolet, spoke to GM's strong position in delivering fuel-efficient vehicles that consumers want to buy. "The Cruze will build on the already successful Chevrolet Cobalt, Cobalt XFE and Cobalt SS, all of which are nearly sold out in dealer showrooms," Peper said. "Our dealers are asking for many more Cobalts than we can build." Chevrolet Cobalt sales are up 16 percent, year-to-date through July 2008, with an impressive 33 miles-per-gallonhighway. The new Cobalt XFE model jumps to 37 miles-per-gallon and is selling almost as soon as it's unloaded from the delivery trucks to dealerships. The Chevrolet Cruze epitomizes the global nature of the automobile industry and General Motors' commitment to deliver fuel efficient, high-quality products. Cruze is the result of a development process harnessing GM's global design and engineering expertise. It is the first of a new family of compact Chevrolets that will continue the attention to quality, fuel efficiency, and strong value promise of the highly successful Malibu and all other vehicles under the Chevrolet brand. "The Chevrolet Cruze was designed and engineered by our global teams in Europe and Asia Pacific and will be manufactured in those regions in addition to the assembly plant here in Lordstown, Ohio," Wagoner said. "Our goal for the Chevrolet Cruze is to lead in fuel economy in this very competitive car segment." The new Cruze will be launched in Europe and Asia Pacific next year. It's scheduled to make its European debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bill Pugliano