Cruze Coupe A Possibility, Zeta-Platform Sedan For US May Still Happen: Reuss Photo:
Tony O'Kane | Mar, 12 2010 | 8 Comments

ACCORDING TO GM’S new President (and ex-Holden chief) Mark Reuss, two-door coupe variants of the Cruze could become a reality.

During a public webchat held to discuss the future of General Motors, Reuss was asked whether a two-door version of the Cruze small car would be built in the future.

His response, while not a definite “yes”, indicated that the idea of a Cruze coupe was at least under consideration.

“Two-door Cruze is a nice idea,” Mr Reuss said.

“As we have two-door Cobalts currently, North America would naturally look at a Cruze two-door, but I believe our small car portfolio will be WAY beyond what it is now, so a two-door something still is needed.”

Another question submitted to Reuss asked whether plans for a Zeta-platformed RWD sedan for the USA were still underway, to which a coy Reuss responded “quite possibly”.

Interest in a RWD GM product among American consumers and fleet buyers still runs high, despite the last Zeta-platformed model, the Commodore-based Pontiac G8, having been dumped last year.

The non-performing Pontiac brand itself was shut down at the beginning of GM's bankruptcy crisis, and according to Reuss the prospect of a revival in the near future is poor.

“I would never say we would never talk about Pontiac again,” he said.

“But, we need to pay back US taxpayers too, and go public. And make money. And make Americans proud of who we are again. Any other focus would be wrong.”

However, if sales of a Zeta-platformed vehicle in the United States were to resume, it would likely be under the Chevrolet banner.

Holden last year revealed its WM Statesman-based Chevrolet Caprice PPV, which was designed with US police fleets in mind.

A civilian version has yet to surface and no announcement regarding a solid export deal for the Caprice PPV has been made as yet.

However, with Holden already building the WM in left-hand drive for the Korean and Middle-Eastern markets, there are no technological barriers to building cars for export to the USA.

Similarly, the tooling needed to build the VE Commodore in left-hand drive still exists, and production of the popular sedan in LHD, could also be resumed quite easily.

Such an export deal could be a real money-spinner for Holden, and the Australian brand already has a couple of high-profile allies at GM’s Detroit HQ.

Mark Reuss headed up Holden until mid-2009, while the man who succeeded him, Alan Batey, was recently transferred Stateside to be Vice President of Sales and Service for Chevrolet.

Both are in good positions to help Holden, and in Batey’s farewell speech to the press he promised to keep the Australian automaker in mind in his future role at Chevrolet.

“I can tell you that I'm very passionate about the export opportunites [for Holden],” he said.

"I think our product has got a lot of opportunities in overseas markets, and when I hit the ground and get a chance to get with the dealers and understand more about the market and the opportunities, I'll obviously be keeping Holden in mind."

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