Chevy has redesigned Cruze for 2016 US model year

Chevy has redesigned Cruze for 2016 US model year

General Motors redesigned 2016 Cruze, on sale in the US early next year, will generate US$1,500 more profit per car than the old model, GM has estimated.

Reuters said its price range was about US$16,000 to $26,000 in the United States.

At a launch event in Detroit, GM touted the 40 miles per (US) gallon the car's new I4 engine should deliver on the highway, matching the fuel economy rating for Ford's competing Focus.

Sales of the current Cruze in the United States, Chevrolet's largest market, lag those of the rival Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, the news agency noted.

According to just-auto data, Cruze 2015 sales to the end of May were down 11.8% year on year to 105,291 units versus Corolla sales up 11.2% to 159,486.

Many small and midsize sedans have taken a hit in the United States and China as consumers opt for sport utility vehicles, Reuters said.

Alan Batey, GM's global Chevrolet brand head, said one of his goals for the new Cruze was to rely less on sales to rental car fleets. While that would dent sales, the expected gain in resale values for the car would help it in the long term, he said.

Batey said Chevrolet would not entirely abandon fleet sales for the Cruze but "somewhere between 15 to 20% is a pretty good number".

Chevy also plans to reduce sales to rental fleets of its redesigned midsize Malibu sedan due to be launched later this year, Reuters reported.

According to just-auto's Product Life Database (PLDB) there are now three different versions of the Chevrolet Cruze: two in China, and one to be sold mainly in North America. The NA car has a longer wheelbase than China's model.