General Motors unveiled the Chevrolet Cruze ECO at New York Auto Show. The Chevrolet Cruze ECO is a high-efficiency model which is powered by a 1.4-liter Ecotec turbocharged engine equipped with variable valve timing that’s coupled with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic will also be offered as an option. The company estimates the Chevrolet Cruze ECO will give a 40 mpg fuel consumption on the highway.
The Chevrolet Cruze ECO comes with a lower front grille air shutter that closes at high speeds to improve aerodynamics and a lower front air dam extension. The Chevrolet Cruze ECO also features a lowered ride height, 17-inch lightweight aluminum wheels and ultra-low rolling resistance 17-inch Goodyear tires.
The Eco achieves greater fuel economy using a number of features that enhance its aerodynamics, minimize weight and reduce rolling resistance. The Chevrolet says the Cruze ECO will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 10 seconds with the manual gearbox and in 0 to 60mph in just 9 seconds with the automatic gearbox.
Also debuting in New York will be a sporty variant of the Cruze, the RS model, which is essentially a styling package. It will be available on the upscale Cruze LT and LTZ trim levels. It features special bumpers, side skirt, a rear spoiler and an instrument cluster with chrome accent rings.
The Chevrolet Cruze ECO price and availability will be announced at a later date and the Cruze Eco will be available in the fourth quarter of 2010.
General Motors today completed the sale of its Swedish Saab brand to Dutch luxury sports car maker Spyker Cars NV, marking the first successful sale of one of its four unwanted U.S. brands.
The transaction combines Saab Automobile and its 3,400 employees with Spyker Cars and its 110-plus workers under parent company Spyker Cars NV.
“The focus as of today will be on getting back to business,” Jan Ake Jonsson, CEO of Saab Automobile, told reporters today. Executives want to refocus the identity of the Saab brand “to create an innovative, free-thinking company based on our Swedishness,” he said.
The sale saves Saab from what appeared to be doom after Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg Group AB backed out of a planned
purchase in November. But Spyker, whose logo bears a Latin phrase that translates, “For the tenacious, no road is impossible” – made an offer during Saab’s wind down.
“Saab’s future is now secure,” Spyker CEO Victor Muller said in a statement. “We will be concentrating all of our efforts into reviving Saab and transforming it into a sustainable and profitable company with the confidence to be bold.”
Finally after some negotiations with GM CEO Ed Whitacre, Spyker agreed to buy Saab. Completion of the Saab deal leaves GM facing a Feb. 28 deadline to complete a planned sale of Hummer to China ‘s Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co. Saturn and Pontiac are being shut down.
Spyker CEO Victor Muller had already secured the $50 million needed to close the deal with GM, with the remaining $24 million due in July. Spyker is paying GM $74 million in cash and $326 million in redeemable preference shares.
Saab’s revival centers on a new 9-5 that launches this year, the arrival of the 9-4X crossover in 2011 and the debut of a new 9-3 in 2012. Saab’s production- and intelligence-sharing agreement with GM lasts through the introduction of the new 9-3, Jonsson said.
The investment incurred to build and run Auto plants amounts to very high cost. The traditional model carried out by Auto companies was limited to engineering and manufacturing processes. Ford used to charge dealers based on model, the time they left the factory outlet, led to development of integrated automobile factory, “The River Rouge plant” which today has become a burden
The current scenario of auto industry today is entirely different, where in there is hair line margin between the best and worst, no longer there is much difference in terms of finished products and all vehicles meet the same standard, what defines best and worst is how brands are perceived by car drivers.
For example, Cherokee is considered still as a jeep even though manufactured by Magna in Austria and BMW 3 models are seen as German cars, even though they are manufactured in South Africa. It is very strange to observe, Penske’s Saturn does not own a single auto factory, design studio or proving ground, what all they own is intellectual property of the Saturn brand and that is what Penske stroke of genius.
Marketing strategy has become a vital tool for the auto company to sell their brands. Saturn has succeeded in the market although it was not much different from Toyota or Honda, but the smart way it was marketed with subtle promises of the brand coupled with excellent customer services and no haggle pricing
As per the current agreement, General Motors have agreed to build Saturn for Penske for a period of two years, there is talk from Penske, that future Saturn models may be sourced from variety of automakers around the world, the latest hearsay is Penske talks with Renault There is also possibility that they may re-badge the manufacturer existing models
According to CSM Worldwide, a reputed auto Industry forecaster, It would not be difficult to build 92 million vehicles a year, but the forecast for 2009 would be 60 million If the global economy would recover soon, the spare capacity could be higher
The Saturn brand is the driving force behind Penske success in selling the cars and trucks. The moral to learn is irrespective of vehicles made anywhere and by any automotive segment, the end result if it meets the performance, quality, equipment levels and economy, the purchase experience always would be on higher side.