GM’s Australian car company Holden will take charge of the development of a 5-door hatchback version of the Chevrolet Cruze, which would be the replacement for the Chevrolet Optra5 which was sold here in Malaysia. The project will cost AU$600 million and Holden will build it alongside the Cruze sedan at its Elizabeth plant in South Australia from Q3 2010 onwards, and the company also intends to export it.
Holden says it needs a hatchback car as they claim Australia’s largest passenger car segment in terms of volume consists roughly half of hatchbacks. It used to bring the Astra in as an offering but decided to stop because of currency fluctuations.
Holden will use the Cruze platform (of which global platform also underpins the new Astra) and build a hatchback version positioned in a more upmarket position compared to the Cruze sedan. It will have an “European” feel that will lean more towards how the Astra feels rather than the Cruze, thanks to steering and suspension input from Holden.