GM has reportedly put a hold on the fourth-quarter 2014 debut of its next-generation Cruze, stretching a likely launch time out to late 2015.
According to business paper Reuters, the delay is due to late engineering and design changes intended to boost the Cruze's appeal in an increasingly competitive small-car market.
The news comes on the tail of a facelifted Malibu sedan's debut for the Chevrolet brand, rushed to market in response to lacklustre sales in the US.
It is likely that these late engineering and style changes to the Cruze means that GM is keen to avoid history repeating when the new model is introduced.
An unnamed source told Reuters that GM wants to ensure the new Cruze "cuts through the clutter" in the small-car market, better than the Malibu has managed in the midsized segment.
In the meantime, GM will naturally use the delay to squeeze more sales from the current model, which will be over six years-old when it is finally retired.
That's no surprise: in the US, sales of the Cruze have risen 17 percent this year, and in June it was the country's second-best seller behind Toyota's Camry.
The Cruze remains popular in Australia, finishing June with 2378 sales, although it was outstripped by Hyundai's i30 (3664) and the ageing Mazda3 (3672), while Toyota's new Corolla finished well ahead with 4196 sales.
Holden is committed to building the Cruze's appeal however, packing it with features and recently adding satellite navigation, along with Apple's Siri Eyes Free iPhone connectivity system.
PRICING (excludes on-roads)
- Cruze Equipe 1.8 MT - $19,490
- Cruze Equipe 1.8 AT - $21,690
- Cruze Equipe 1.4 AT - $23,190
- Cruze Equipe 2.0 AT - $25,690
- Cruze CDX 1.8 AT (sedan only): $24,190
- Cruze CDX 2.0 AT (sedan only): $28,190
- Cruze SRi 1.6 MT - $22,490
- Cruze SRi 1.6 AT - $24,690
- Cruze SRi-V 1.6L MT - $26,490
- Cruze SRi-V 1.6L AT - $28,690