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Published reports on Thursday say General Motors is considering delaying the launch of the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze that will be built in Lordstown.
The current Cruze set an all-time record for monthly sales in June with 32,871. Reports say the launch of the next-generation Cruze has been pushed back one year to December 2015 because of the current Cruze’s popularity. The car went into production four years ago and sales have never been better.
Warren Chevrolet dealer Diane Sauer describes the vehicles as phenomenal for a car that has been in production this long.
“It truly is a tribute to the momentum of the vehicle,” said Sauer. “The quality of the car, the good reports that coming out from Consumer Reports and publications.”
Delaying the launch of the next-generation Cruze gives the manufacturer time to tweak the vehicle’s engineering before its release. GM previously said the next-generation Cruze would be completely redesigned.
A new diesel-powered Cruze is set to go on sale nationwide in the fall.
Lordstown GM union officials declined comment.
A GM spokesperson said in a statement they will not comment on future products or timing.
“Cruze remains Chevrolet’s best-selling nameplate globally and a big reason for the brand’s global growth,” the statement said. “The next generation Cruze will ensure that we maintain momentum in the global marketplace. However, we do not discuss details regarding future products or their timing. Nor do we respond to speculation about our product programs.”
Analyst David Cole with the Center for Automotive Research in Detroit said GM is launching a lot of new products right now such as a full size truck and they need to focus their efforts.
“This is a hugely important launch, and they don’t have the staff like they had a number of years ago,” said Cole. “When you launch products, you spread people thin and there is nothing more complicated in this industry than the launch of a new product.”
Cole adds what consumers are seeing is continued, long-term commitment on the part of General Motors supporting the Lordstown plant, saying the Cruze has been a big part of their success in recent years.