Is the Chevrolet Cruze here to stay? What is GM's plans for a flagship vehicle for years to come?
One thing I wonder about GM is if they will keep a compact car in constant production creating massive brand recognition and allowing for more customer loyalty. It's my belief that they need a sub-compact / sports-compact vehicle that is here to stay.
When you compare apples to apples, for example, lets pick on a few vehicles here from other manufacturers:
Honda Civic - 1973 to On going
This has a massive fan base and is pretty notorious and doesn't even need advertising to know that there is a very loyal customer base. Mass produced, sold in practically every country around the world, looks almost the same everywhere you go, its a fantastic car. (Although I'm not a fan of Honda, they have done a good job on most recent Civics). This is Honda's flagship vehicle and they are very well known for it.
Toyota Corolla - 1966 to On going
Toyotas have always been (or at least their trucks) built to be practically bullet proof. Don't believe me? Watch the Top Gear episode of them trying to kill a Toyota SUV where they drown it in the Ocean, blow it up, demolish a building with it on top and even light it on fire and she still ran! Their cars are designed pretty similar. Just look around you on the roads today, you still see lots of them, old and new. World wide branded Toyota, another flagship car from Toyota (although I prefer their SUVs personally).
Nissan Skyline/GTR - 1957 to On going
Well this definitely isn't a good comparison since its gone from compact to much greater than that... but still... you get the point... I don't really need to explain much with the Skyline.
Volkswagon (VW) Beetle - 1938 to On going
Big surprise, THE longest running, best selling compact in modern history I’d say. Not the most appealing looking vehicle but has always been different in concept! Trunk/boot in the front, engine in the back. Made famous by Hitler in 1933 when he ordered Ferdinand Porsche to develop a good, small, affordable car to which the average german family could afford. Literally translated, [B[Volkswagon[/B] in English is “people’s car” or in German, pronounced “folksvagen”. Remained practically unchanged in design from its production in 1938 until 2003. Completely redesigned in 2004, looked similar but different and appealing for the women in the automotive world. Now, yet again, new for 2012, has been redesigned to appeal for men & women alike.
Ford Focus or Taurus? - Focus (1998 to On going) / Taurus (1986 to On going)
Well Ford is similar to GM in the fact they don't really have a flagship car they've decided to stick with yet. Taurus use to be it but they stopped making them for several years only to make them over and make them completely awesome. However, is it here to stay? Is it here to replace Focus? Probably not. I think Ford will decide to keep Focus as it has been a highly successful car for Ford. Although plagued with its issues in the beginning, its definitely their flagship vehicle for now and it seems like they will keep producing the Focus and working with it since it has much potential. Including the Focus EV, Focus Diesel, etc... Efficient vehicle, very similar to the new Chevrolet Cruze but in my high opinion, not nearly as sexy as the Cruze.
In my opinion, with GM eliminating or selling off its repetitive brand names such as Pontiac (which usually ended being a rebranded Chevy), SAAB, Oldsmobile, etc... They NEED cars/trucks that are here to stay. Their trucks, well, haven't seen any changes in names in recent years other than redesigning/overhauling them, which is good. But they need some flagship compact cars that are here to stay! And no, they shouldn't be a muscle car that goes away for 30 years and then comes back as a family car like the Malibu.
I thought GM had something good coming along when they had the brand name of Cavalier. Those were an epic car, was sold as the ToyotaCavalier overseas. Everyone and their mother drove one and knew of them. Why didn't they just discontinue agreement with Toyota and continue as their own brand name overseas? Who knows. IMO Cobalt / G5 was a waist of time, they could have kept it as the Cavalier and revamped yet again for the Cruze.
Oh well. GM has invested a lot into the Cruze, seems to be the best selling car around the world at this point in time and is a great looking vehicle which has a heck of a lot more features to offer than its previous generations of siblings.
As a side note, one other thing GM should do... SS the Cruze! Give it a big turbo, awesome tune, upgraded internals and push this in the tuner market! It will sell big time and they should be able to maintain their customer base who picked up a Cobalt SS/SC or SS/TC.
The corolla is definitely a tough competitor because it is one of the strongest and most performance-oriented models of toyota. It is the epitome of a well-balanced car which fuses style and efficiency with ease. It is also an advantage to own it because it is easy to maintain and toyota corolla parts are very affordable and readily available.
All above designs are just awesome, but Mini One Diesel is a well made and enjoyable little car. Handling is lively and there is plenty of grip. This car really can been chucked around and can be quite rewarding to drive especially on twisty roads.