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?