GM’s CEO Mary Barra will show off the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Cruze on Wednesday, but the real news could just be the debut of a hatchback version. Yes, Chevy is reportedly prepping a Cruze hatchback for the U.S.
Automotive News reveals that the new Cruze hatchback was revealed to dealers, and dealers only, last week at a national meeting in Las Vegas and it was billed as a 2016 model. Chevy isn’t publicly confirming the possible debut, only commenting that, “We have not announced other variants for any other markets at this time.” However, with the launch of the next generation, and hatchbacks projected to increase in U.S. sales, it would be a fitting time to finally bring it stateside.
The Cruze is already being offered in other markets, including China and Australia, in both a wagon and hatchback version. GM product chief Mark Reuss calls the fact it’s taken until now to potentially get one stateside “a pre-bankruptcy planning mistake.”
The introduction of this hatchback would fit nicely into the current Chevy lineup by filling a compact-sedan hatchback gap. Currently, Chevy only offers the hatchbacks Spark and Sonic which both fall into a more compact class. Offering a Cruze hatchback would be Chevy’s answer to 5-door versions of the Ford Focus, Mazda3, and Subaru Impreza.
Traditionally, hatchbacks do not do as well in America as they do in other, especially European, markets. However, that’s expected to change in the next five years with a projected 7.8 percent growth of hatchbacks in light-vehicle sales by 2020 according to IHS Automotive. The Ford Focus already derives around 40 percent of its sales from its hatchback version and Honda is also planning the return of the Civic Hatchback to the U.S.
The new Cruze sedan is going to be revealed this Wednesday and go on sale in the first quarter of 2016. Few details have been released about this much-hyped Cruze. Chevy does note that it will be larger and lighter, which means it will be both roomier and more fuel efficient. It will also feature a host of new technologies including being one of the first Chevy’s to feature Google’s Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay. It is also getting a new 1.4-liter turbo engine from GM’s updated Ecotec line.
The current generation is Chevy’s best-selling model around the world and recently passed 3.5 million in global sales.