General Motors India will roll out the Chevrolet Cruze next month. The Cruze will be positioned between the upper end of the executive segment and the entry level of the premium segment. The range (petrol or diesel, automatic or manual transmission) will be priced between Rs 13.50 lakh and Rs 18.50 lakh. It will be manufactured at GM’s Halol facility.

“The Cruze will create an intermediate segment that involves luxury features found in premium car models at a lower price. The Cruze represents a brand new architecture of the Chevrolet brand,” says General Motors India Vice-president (sales and marketing) Ankush Arora. “The Cruze was introduced in China about two months ago and we have sold over 20,000 in this time. During the same period, we sold over 2,000 in Australia. We are seeing similar response in the West Asian and Latin American markets,” he added.

General Motors India has a car in the executive segment, the Chevrolet Optra, but does not have any presence in the premium segment. Is GM making the same mistake again? The Cruze is a replacement for the Optra and by not discontinuing the Optra and charging a premium for the Cruze, GM is only following footsteps of Maruti and Hyundai which will not work anymore. The Cruze will not be made available in the US markets until 2010.