Breakthrough Labor Agreement Between GM and UAW Makes American Small Car Production Possible +VIDEO
DETROIT - October 25, 2011: With the economy teetering and gas prices still high, sub-compacts or small cars, like the Ford Fiesta and the Honda Fit are becoming increasingly popular. But historically, due to small profit margins, these cars have had to be manufactured overseas. Now with a half billion dollar plant renovation and a ground-breaking UAW labor agreement, Chevrolet looks to breakthrough with the all-new, sub-compact Sonic.
The last small car built by Chevy in the U.S was 40 years ago, the Chevette. Today, the Lake Orion Assembly plant, is ready to produce thousands of Sonics and Buick Veranos.
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Chevrolet Small Cars Go Big at SEMAChevrolet’s small cars have a big presence at the 2011 SEMA Show, with tricked-out Sonics and Cruzes showing off the personalization possibilities for a new generation of performance enthusiasts.
Most of the show cars wear conceptual Z-Spec styling enhancements, which are being evaluated for production. Z-Spec is a line of performance, styling, and personalization accessories available at Chevy dealerships.
The Sonic went on sale this fall and the Cruze, while being in the U.S. market for only about a year, has become Chevrolet’s best-selling car and the top-selling compact car in the United States calendar year to date. Both cars offer available factory turbocharged powertrains – with the Sonic offering the only turbo engine in its class.
“The heritage of Chevrolet cars like the Corvette and Camaro is being expressed in smaller packages for the next generation,” said Chris Perry, vice president, global marketing and strategy for Chevrolet. “The Sonic and Cruze concepts demonstrate that performance comes in all shapes, sizes and displacements at Chevrolet.”
As the only factory turbocharged vehicle in its class and aggressive design, Sonic is ideal for customization and performance – and that’s exactly what the distinctive show cars demonstrate at SEMA. Here’s a quick look:
Sonic Z-Spec #1 – Designers took a turbocharged Sonic five-door and dressed it with concept Z-Spec accessories. They added Z-Spec ground effects, a spoiler, unique grille and graphics package – then finished it off with a Torch Red exterior and Z-Spec concept 18-inch wheels. Inside, the Cobalt Red cabin features custom trim, including perforated black suede seat inserts, a Z-Spec sport pedal kit, sport shift knob and a racing-style flat-bottom steering wheel. Additional upgrades include performance brakes with four-piston calipers, a new high-flow exhaust system and performance suspension parts.
Sonic Z-Spec #2 – The next Sonic concept – in Flat White with Torch Red accents – builds on concept Z-Spec accessories with a more aggressive ground effects package, unique grille, rear spoiler and graphics package. It rides on Z-Spec concept 18-inch wheels and also includes a re-trimmed interior with Z-Spec sport pedal kit, Z-Spec sport shift knob and a flat-bottom steering wheel. It also features custom racing seats with the Z-Spec logo. The factory powertrain features the 1.4L turbo engine and six-speed manual transmission. Performance upgrades include brakes with four-piston calipers, a high-flow exhaust system and suspension parts.
Sonic Z-Spec 4D Concept – The more formal look of the Sonic sedan lends itself to a touring car-style motif, which this Ashen Grey Metallic concept picks up with concept Z-Spec ground effects, rear spoiler, grille, “Chevrolet” graphics and larger Z-Spec concept 18-inch wheels. As with its five-door counterparts, this Sonic features a re-trimmed interior – in Dark Titanium with Cobalt Red accents – Z-Spec sport pedal kit, aluminum sport shift knob and a flat-bottom steering wheel (trimmed with Cobalt Red suede). The factory turbo 1.4L engine and six-speed manual transmission are complemented by performance upgrades that include four-piston caliper brakes, a high-flow exhaust system and suspension parts.
Sonic Dusk – The most subtle of the Sonic concepts is the Dusk. It features a Berlin Blue exterior, with a mild concept ground effects package, unique grille treatment and 18-inch concept wheels in dark Galvano Silver. Even the lights are tinted blue for a sophisticated statement. The Mojave leather interior has custom seat inserts, Z-Spec shift knob with satin chrome trim, Z-Spec sport pedals and accessory interior trim kit. The Sonic Dusk also features a suede-trimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel, custom audio system and brake and suspension upgrades.
Chevrolet is keeping a few super-secret Sonics under wraps until the SEMA show, each representing an even higher level of performance and personalization.
A pair of custom Cruze sedans demonstrates what is possible with conceptual accessories and a little creativity.
Cruze Z-Spec – Wearing concept Z-Spec ground effects, 18-inch custom wheels, an accessory spoiler and a high-flow grille, the Cruze Z-Spec has the looks and feel of a taut touring car. The exterior appearance of this Cruze is enhanced with a new stripe package that will be available soon, while on the inside are special seat inserts, a racing-style pedal kit, accessory shift knob and interior trim, as well as a new steering wheel.
Cruze Dusk – Complementing the Sonic Dusk concept, the Cruze Dusk suggests a more subtle and sophisticated approach to personalization, including a mild concept ground effects package, a unique grille treatment and dark-tinted wheels. The interior has custom seat inserts, along with an accessory shift knob, sport pedals, interior trim kit, a suede-trimmed steering wheel and a custom audio system.