The All-New Chevrolet Cruze That Americans Can't Buy

GM global design chief Edward Welburn presented the all-new Chevrolet Cruze on Saturday in Beijing. Photo credit: General Motors Co.

General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) unveiled the all-new Chevrolet Cruze at a special event in Beijing on Saturday. 

The Cruze has received a radical overhaul. It's all-new from the ground up, on a brand-new GM platform developed by GM's global R&D team. 

And it has a completely new look -- it's the first example of what GM says will be a new design language for the Chevy brand.

It's quite a striking vehicle, clearly years ahead of the current Cruze. And it's loaded with high-tech features, including an all-new direct-injected 1.4 liter engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. 

But here's the catch: It's not coming to the U.S. -- at least not yet. 

No, this isn't a late April Fool's joke. This car really exists, but it's not coming here. At least not for a while.

Instead, we're making do with a few changes to the old Cruze, while GM brings the hot new one to China.

Meanwhile, GM released a few updates for the U.S. Cruze
In a completely separate event, GM unveiled a refreshed version of the current Chevy Cruze for the U.S. market in New York this past week. 

We (the Fool's John Rosevear and Rex Moore) were in New York this week, and we got a close-up look at the car, which will go on sale this fall as the 2015 Cruze in the United States. 

In this short video, John takes a quick walk around the 2015 Cruze and points out some of the changes. As you'll see, they aren't major -- just some styling tweaks and a few updates to the interior.

Get a good look, because that's the Cruze that GM will be offering to U.S. buyers for the next few years. But meanwhile, GM will be rolling out this all-new Cruze elsewhere.

This can't be a China-only product, can it?
GM's press release for the all-new Cruze gave quite a bit of credit to GM's Chinese joint-venture partner, Shanghai automaker SAIC. 

GM said that SAIC co-developed the new engine and that new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is one of three transmissions that will be offered on the new Cruze in China.

But while GM didn't say so, it's not likely that this new Cruze will be just a Chinese-market product. An all-new platform from GM's global R&D team represents a significant investment by GM, and the company will surely want to offer it around the world, as widely as possible.

In fact, we know that GM is moving to a smaller number of global models and platforms, just as Ford (NYSE: F  ) has done with such great success over the past few years. 

So it's a safe bet that a version of this all-new Cruze will come to the U.S. -- eventually.

But here's our question: If it's really a big improvement over the current car, why is GM making Americans wait for it?

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Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (4)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 8:59 PM, bcweir wrote:

    Doesn't surprise me. GM has been thumbing its nose at America (its savior, I might add) in several other ways as well: Building the Camaro in the same plant where they cancelled it and the Firebird in 2002, dodging its pension obligations, the ignition switch debacle (13 people died because GM didn't want to pay an extra 30 cents each for a more reliable switch), designing a hot Caprice sedan platform, then designating it for fleet sales only, steering recalls, shortages of 5.3 V8's for its new pickups (along with the too-conservative styling), and of course, now this: introducing the new Cruze in CHINA instead of here. GM will continue to take advantage of America's kindness until America calls a stop to it once and for all.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 10:11 PM, AcuraT wrote:

    John, Rex, and bcweir are not looking at GM for the last few years. This generation Cruze was not launched in the US either - it was launched in China as well first. Why? Because GM wants to get the quality RIGHT before it comes to the USA. GM's quality is better than in the past as GM adopted many of the six sigma proceses that came into the company in the early to mid 2000s that Toyota, GE, and Motorola use. It does not make them fool proof however, and they like to use other markets (e.g. China) as a test bed for new technologies before launching them in the US and European markets which are not as forgiving.

    It is a smart move by GM, launching the new technology a couple of years before coming to America with it - something that other manufactuers are starting to do as well.

  • Report this Comment On April 19, 2014, at 10:15 PM, funfundvierzig wrote:

    Perhaps it makes good business sense for General Motors Management to take their cars to the Peoples Republic of China where human life and safety are a joke. No prickly regulators or questioning car owners there. Ni Hao. ...funfun..

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 12:58 AM, Joefacc2244 wrote:

    When is the two door coupe coming out???

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 1:14 AM, vinnieboiblue wrote:

    At a time when they are suffering a Public Relations nightmare with recalls, they shaft the tax payers by making us a second class citizen to the Chinese. This is the kind of mental mistakes that has plagues GM for a while. Now you know why FORD is passing GM. They care more about China than the American consumer.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 7:05 AM, Todd6419 wrote:

    will be getting the next gen next year as a 2016 model and it will be longer wheel base than the china version, and have different styling

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 5:42 PM, btc909 wrote:

    GM only makes real money on Trucks in the US. Especially before the big discounts. The cars are a money loser or a barely break even in the US.

    This is the same platform the 2016 Volt is going to be based on as well. We will see this Cruze in the US for 2016.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2014, at 8:56 PM, mikegs1952 wrote:

    Thank god for that. One less pos Government motors over here for people to die in. I wish you fools would quit buying this crap cause me or a family member migh tbe on the road at the same time as you

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 8:59 AM, r1berto wrote:

    We are supposed to keep our comments civil and respectful. So I will skip my GM comments.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2014, at 1:46 PM, tekwyzrd wrote:

    I'd bet that if it is finally sold in the U.S. the version sold here will be built in China or Korea. GM will be spending $15 billion over the next few years expanding in China. I wouldn't be surprised to see China become their primary production location.

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John Rosevear

John Rosevear is the Fool's Senior Auto Specialist. John has been writing about the auto business and investing for over 20 years, and for The Motley Fool since 2007.

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