To help prepare for the many significant enhancements coming to the 2015 Chevy Cruze, GM has announced a $50 million investment program for the car's U.S. manufacturing site in Lordstown, Ohio. That facility helped launch the Cruze in this country in the fall of 2010, and since that time has produced more than 1 million models of the popular compact sedan.
Said Bob Parcell, plant manager at Lordstown: “This investment will enhance our customer responsiveness while providing our team with the tools and processes needed to be the best at building the next-generation Cruze."
Specifically, the money is earmarked for the creation of a new, more flexible trim shop at the complex, as well as for upgrades to the facility's stamping capabilities. Both will be vital to the ongoing success of the 2015 Chevy Cruze, which will leverage those improvements for its fresh styling cues. The exterior of the new Cruze, for example, has been fine-tuned for a more distinct family resemblance to the Chevy Impala and Malibu, while the cabin sees some ergonomic adjustments designed to better meet customer preferences.
But perhaps the biggest Cruze news for the 2015 model year is that the car will be part of Chevy's push to bring 4G LTE connectivity to its lineup, providing much faster connectivity speeds and the ability to deliver mobile wi-fi service for up to seven devices.
As a result, the 2015 Chevy Cruze should be in a strong position to continue the relatively consistent success of the current model. After all, even with the new generation looming, and despite plenty of new compact competition, the 2014 Cruze remains on the sales-race podium through the first four months of the year, and with by far the highest growth rate during that time. Consider the year-to-date standings for the segment through April:
- Toyota Corolla (and Matrix)—106,798 sales, up 2.2 percent
- Honda Civic—98,707 sales, down by exactly 5 units
- Chevy Cruze—86,937 sales, up 11.8 percent
- Hyundai Elantra—73,462 sales, down 7 percent
- Ford Focus—71,007 sales, down 15.9 percent
Said Steve Majoros, Chevrolet director of passenger car and crossover marketing: “Cruze remains a strong entry in the compact segment, with features that continue to bring new customers to Chevrolet. Along with Spark, Spark EV, Sonic and Volt, Chevy’s lineup of efficient, technologically advanced small cars is one of the industry’s most compelling."