Chevrolet Orlando set to go on sale in Europe

Soon the Chevrolet Orlando will go on sale in Europe but not in the U.S. as reported again by our friends at CarandDriver.com. We posted on this vehicle a few months back hoping the folks making the calls at GM would wisely reconsider selling the 3 row and hyper fuel efficient Orlando in the U.S., Canada and anywhere they can ship this vehicle. The Orlando is exactly the type of vehicle that GM should be designing for all the North American market regardless of what other current offering they have. Nothing, I repeat nothing in their stable is a direct competitor with this product. The Traverse offers 3 rows but is much larger and consumes way more fuel than the Orlando and the Equinox only offers 2 rows. A current design with 3 rows and great fuel economy is what many consumers are looking for in this market.

Precisely two years after its debut at the 2008 Paris show in concept form, the production-ready Chevrolet Orlando will bow at this year’s Paris auto show. It will go on sale across Europe early next year. Despite earlier confirmation that the Orlando was destined for the U.S., GM has since decided the Orlando will not be sold here.

The Orlando is a seven-seat mini-minivan based on an elongated version of the Chevrolet Cruze’s platform. It’s easy to see similarities to the Cruze in the bold front grille with massive Chevy bowtie, although the rest of the vehicle diverges, especially the upswept beltline and subtly sloped roof. Wheel sizes will range from 16 to 18 inches.

It will be sold with a choice of three engines: a 141-hp, 1.8-liter gasoline four-cylinder; a 131-hp, 2.0-liter diesel; and a 163-hp, 2.0-liter diesel. Standard equipment includes stability control, six airbags, air conditioning, power mirrors, and a USB audio input.

Read the full article here.

  

GM gets high grades for 2011 LaCrosse

GM hits a homerun with the new LaCrosse! There are plenty of unanswered questions out there on whether GM will make it in the long run but for now they have a true winner on their hands. A near luxury sedan like the LaCrosse normally doesn’t catch the eye of the more selective crowd but this car has done just that! With sleek styling, 30mpg on the highway and a price that is affordable to many you have to give props to The General on the Buick LaCrosse.

From the Detroit News:

General Motors Co. just doesn’t get the credit it deserves some times.

A few years ago, GM was the first carmaker — in the world — to mate a six-speed transmission to a four-cylinder engine for a midsize car. Everyone had been talking about it, but no one else had done it.

But when GM announced the Chevy Malibu would include an optional four-cylinder engine with a six-speed tranny, creating a car that hit 32 mpg on the highway, no one seemed to care that much, though many carmakers have followed suit.

Read the rest of the article here.

  

Onto the Cruze!

This spanking new offering from GM appears to be the right car at the right time. This is the car that could put GM back in the minds and wallets of those looking for efficiency, fuel economy and some styling to go with a small car. There has been a lot of hype around the partially electric Volt but the Cruze is the car that can make or break GM with a new generation entering the market for vehicles.

Even though I’m not sold on the styling yet, at 40m.p.g. on the highway and more trunk space than it’s competitors the Cruze has a real chance to be a top seller for the new GM.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Chevrolet has built a better mousetrap. The 2011 Cruze sedan gets better fuel economy than most subcompacts and offers the passenger and luggage space of a midsize sedan.

Those achievements will mean nothing unless Chevrolet convinces customers to check out the Cruze before they buy a better-known model like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla. Years of reliability and fuel-efficiency give those models credibility with small-car buyers.

Chevy can’t match that history. The mousetrap needs cheese.

“Our job is to tell buyers why they have to look at the Cruze: fuel economy, safety, refinement and quality,” said Margaret Brooks, Chevrolet director of small-car marketing.

Read the full article here.

  

Death of the Chevy name?

I had to wait a few days before commenting on the so called death of the Chevy name. A memo was leaked from inside GM and it appears the brass in marketing want to move the nickname of Chevy aside and refer to the brand only as Chevrolet. I just said Chevrolet a few times and you know what? It sounds so good that I’m sure GM can add a few thousand bucks to each Chevrolet they produce because it just sounds more expensive. That little Chevrolet Aveo can now easily fetch what a Jaguar would set us back right? Ok let’s get serious here. The nickname Chevy is going nowhere and with the pull back we now are watching from the bigs at Chevrolet they realize it too. Long live the Ford Vs. Chevy wars!!!

From the Detroit News:

GM makes Chevrolets, but people own Chevys.

That’s the message lost in all of the silly name games that hit the fan Thursday.

If you haven’t heard, here’s the short version: GM tried to kill the Chevy name, and the automaker now faces attempted manslaughter charges in the court of public opinion.

The more realistic version is this: A couple of bigwigs — namely Alan Batev, vice president of Chevrolet sales, and Jim Campbell, GM’s vice president of marketing — drafted an internal memo to the marketing team declaring “Chevy” was now a dirty word and to never use it.

Read the full article here.

  

More Cadillac SRXs on the way?

Between new Cadillac dealers coming back online and strong sales GM will be building more Cadillac SRXs. I can say that of all of the SUV’s on the road today that the SRX is one of the best looking and right sized of them all. Cadillac got it right on the SRX and since it is still a relatively new design (launched last summer) this should turn into a solid profit center for The General.

From AutoNews.com:

DETROIT — General Motors Co. is planning to make more Cadillac SRX crossovers, in part to supply reinstated franchises, a Cadillac executive said Tuesday.

“We have some plans to increase production, but probably not till the fourth quarter,” said Kurt McNeil, Cadillac’s U.S. sales chief, in an interview.

About 500 former wind-down Cadillac franchises are rejoining the fold this summer via reinstatement or arbitration after being prohibited from ordering new vehicles for about a year. GM’s need to restock their lots and the expectation of growth in U.S. light-vehicle demand figure in to the automaker’s plan to increase production.

Read the full article here.

  

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