Hatchback Cruze will appeal in UK and some European markets in particular

Hatchback Cruze will appeal in UK and some European markets in particular

Chevrolet Cruze sales in some markets are likely to get a boost from the launch of a five-door hatchback version at the Paris show at the end of the month.

The new version will be imported into Europe and some other markets from GM-Daewoo in Korea but Australian GM unit Holden plans to build it locally.

"With the introduction of the new Cruze hatchback, customers have an alternative body style to the traditional saloon and Chevrolet has raised the bar again with a vehicle that brings new levels of value against some of the more established competition," Chevrolet said.

Chevrolet Europe head Wayne Brannon claimed: "Cruze is turning out to be a real success story. We are selling it in 70 countries around the world and it has recently surpassed the Aveo as our top selling passenger car nameplate globally.

"Hatchbacks play a critical role in many markets. The total compact segment in Europe represents around 4.8m units which is over a quarter of the total market, with hatchbacks representing around 65% of that volume. We therefore expect to see increased business in a number of regions, while sending out a signal that Chevrolet is now a serious mainstream player in Europe."

An Ohio-built Cruze line is due on sale in the US soon. It was launched elsewhere in spring 2009.

Chevrolet said it had topped the compact saloon sales charts in many larger European markets including Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK where it is exceeding forecast sales.

In China alone, Chevrolet has sold nearly 90,000 Cruze since the start of the year, while the saloon is also selling well in Russia, parts of South America, and in India and other emerging markets. It's available in Australia as a Holden.

Cargo capacity for the Cruze hatchback is close to 400 litres and this version will have 60/40 split rear seating.

Europe sales start in mid 2011.