Chevy plans new global crossover, but not for U.S.
The Chevy Trax will be built on the Gamma platform that underpins the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact. GM plans to launch two other small crossovers built on the same platform: the Opel Mokka, which should hit showrooms by year end, and the U.S.-bound Buick Encore, which is to arrive in early 2013.
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DETROIT -- General Motors will launch a small Chevrolet crossover late this year in more than 140 global markets, but not in the United States.
GM said today that it will unveil the Chevrolet Trax in September at the Paris auto show.
The crossover will be built on the Gamma platform that underpins the Chevrolet Sonic subcompact. GM plans to launch two other small crossovers built on the same platform: the Opel Mokka, which should hit showrooms by year end, and the U.S.-bound Buick Encore, which is to arrive in early 2013.
The automaker decided not to sell the Trax in the United States because of the success of the Chevrolet Equinox crossover, GM said in a statement.
The Trax, though, will be smaller than the Equinox. Although GM has not released specifications for the Trax, the Encore is 19 inches shorter than the Equinox and has less cargo space.
GM will first launch the Trax in Mexico in the fourth quarter. It also will be sold in parts of Europe and Asia, a Chevrolet spokesman said, declining to specify which markets.
Dave Sullivan , a product analyst for AutoPacific Inc., says he expects GM to sell the Trax in eastern Europe, where it won't overlap with the Mokka.
The Trax is unrelated to a concept minicar of the same name that GM showed at the 2007 New York auto show.
The small crossover will be built in Korea and possibly other locations, the spokesman said.
With the Trax launch, GM is seeking to maintain the momentum of its flagship Chevrolet brand. Last month, GM said Chevrolet's first-quarter sales hit 1.2 million worldwide, a quarterly record and a 7 percent jump from a year earlier.
Chevrolet's growth has been fueled in part by the phasing out of the Daewoo brand in eastern Europe, Korea and some other markets where Korea-derived vehicles are sold under a Chevrolet badge.
The Trax launch underscores GM's strategy to expand the Chevrolet lineup through vehicles that share architectures and nameplates globally, such as the Cruze compact launched in 2009.
Expanding Chevrolet overseas, along with the Cadillac luxury brand, is central to GM's growth plans.
GM also sells the Captiva Sport, a crossover based on the same platform as the defunct Saturn Vue. The Captiva Sport, built in Mexico, has been sold as a fleet-only vehicle in the United States since last fall.
GM will release the powertrain lineup, specifications and other details about the Trax later.
"The Trax provides Chevrolet an entry into a growing small SUV segment and delivers the flexibility, great fuel economy and carlike handling that urban explorers around the world require," Mary Barra, GM's senior vice president of product development , said in a statement.
GM said the Trax "exhibits its SUV toughness and capability in a small package through a muscular exterior design and wide athletic stance."
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