For GM, Chevy Cruze is more important than the Chevy Volt

2011 Chevy Cruze Pictures, Images and Photos

For the past two years we’ve been hearing a lot about GM’s electric plug-in car, the Chevy Volt. They have promoted this car as the key to their re-emergence as an auto giant and it is supposed to be on the cutting edge of green technology. Symbolically this may be true. However, in reality the entry level Chevy Cruze is far more important for GM as a viable auto maker for the future. It is an all new car that has recently been released for sale and replaces the Chevy Cobalt and before that, the Chevy Cavalier.

The reason the Cruze is so crucial for GM is because GM has never been good at making a small car that can match the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla on quality and dependability, while keeping the price low. The Chevrolet Cavalier came the closest, but had no where near the quality and dependability of a Civic or Corolla. This segment is even more important today than in the past because right now many people are looking for more affordable cars. Also, gas prices will be shooting up once the recovery gains in strength, making small cars more attractive to consumers.

If the Chevy Cruze can compete with the Civic and Corolla on price and quality then GM will not only prove that they really are back for good, but that they have also improved and learned how to make a good small car. Ford has done this already in Europe and will be bringing the European Ford Focus to North America so the pressure is on GM to show that they can compete in this segment as well.

Although I have not test┬ádriven the Cruze yet, I have sat in it and noticed that it offers many features that you don’t necessarily see in Civics’ and Corolla’s and the materials feel better than average for its class. This is a good start, but I will not fully review it until I drive it and get a better feel for how it will fare in the quality and dependability department.

When you analyze GM or the auto industry now, remember that it isn’t always the ‘green’ or futuristic cars that are the future of these companies or the industry. Sometimes it is the small, regular cars that lay the foundation for future success and how the industry will look in the next 5-10 years.