DETROIT – Chevrolet is celebrating its Centennial today by saying thanks a million – literally – to buyers of its top-selling Chevrolet Cruze. The compact car, which launched globally in 2009 and in North America in 2010, reached 1 million sales this week.
“I can’t think of a better birthday present,” said Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing and strategy. “Cruze’s combination of style, comfort, fuel-efficiency and safety is a hit across the globe. Our customers know a winner when they drive it.”
Cruze is the top-selling compact sedan through 10 months of 2011 in the United States, ahead of Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Ford. It is ranked third in its segment in the region that includes China, Russia, India and other developing markets. Globally, Cruze is the fourth best-selling nameplate in its segment and the seventh best-selling nameplate overall.
The Cruze was designed and engineered using GM’s global product development process. The top 10 markets for Cruze since its 2009 model year introduction are: China, the United States, Russia, Canada, Mexico, India, Turkey, South Korea, Israel and Spain.
Perry said Cruze, as well as the new subcompact Chevrolet Sonic and upcoming Chevrolet Spark minicar, are key to Chevrolet’s efforts to attract buyers under 30 to the Chevrolet brand because 44 percent of them choose compact cars.
During the past year, Chevrolet has increased its market share among so-called millennials in the United States by 1 percentage point, largely on the strength of the Cruze.
Cruze also has helped Chevrolet bring new buyers to the brand. So far this year, 42 percent of Cruze buyers in the United States traded in non-GM vehicles, led by the Honda Civic, Ford Focus and Ford Taurus.
The Cruze is sold in more than 100 countries and is Chevrolet’s top-selling nameplate. A five-door hatchback version was introduced this year in Europe.
The Cruze also is getting worldwide attention from its success in the World Car Touring Championship (WTCC), where it has swept the manufacturer’s and driver’s championships two years in a row.
Cruze is powered by a family of fuel-efficient, small-displacement gas engines – including a 1.4L turbocharged Ecotec that is standard on LT, LTZ and Eco models in the United States – as well as a 2.0L diesel engine in Europe. A diesel engine will be introduced in North American versions of the Cruze in 2013.
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze Eco equipped with the 1.4L Ecotec turbo and standard six-speed manual transmission with Eco overdrive gear is the most fuel-efficient, gas-powered/non-hybrid vehicle in America, with an EPA-estimated 42 mpg highway.
Cruze equipped with the 1.4L turbo/six-speed automatic combination achieves an EPA-estimated 38 mpg highway. The standard 1.8L/six-speed manual combination (Cruze LS) delivers 36 mpg highway. Cruze is covered by a five-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.
The Cruze is assembled in Korea, China, Australia and the United States.
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Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 140 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Sonic, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free” solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.