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Korea to Build European Chevrolet Cruze, 7-Seat Orlando

A knowledgeable source confirms the Orlando multipurpose concept vehicle GM plans to unveil in Paris next month will be produced for sale in Europe by GM Daewoo.

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The upcoming all-new Chevrolet Cruze compact 4-door sedan, which will make its global debut at the Paris auto show next month and be sold in Europe starting early next year, will be produced at the GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. plant in Gunsan, South Korea, Ward’s learns.

A knowledgeable source also confirms the all-new Chevrolet Orlando 7-passenger multipurpose concept vehicle GM plans to unveil in Paris will be built in Gunsan at a future date. No timetable is given.

General Motors Corp. already has confirmed the North American Cruze will go on sale in 2010 and be built at its Lordstown, OH, facility. But no official information had been released on production plans for the Orlando.

“The Cruze is now in regular production at the Gunsan plant, alongside the Rezzo/Tacuma compact MPV family wagon,” the source says. “The domestic version of the Cruze will go on sale in Korea in the middle of next month.”

GMDAT has not selected a name for the domestic model. “Many names have been considered, but management hasn’t liked any of them,” he says. “(But) it won’t be called the Cruze in Korea.”

The Orlando concept to be shown in Paris “is virtually the production model of this all-new vehicle,” the source also says.

Referred to as the MPV-7 in Korea, the Orlando first was shown to a small group of reporters at a media event in Bupyong last March and identified by GMDAT CEO Michael Grimaldi as one of the all-new Chevrolet models developed for production in South Korea.

Both the Cruze and Orlando were engineered and designed in Korea and will ride on a new GM Delta II platform developed by GMDAT, with input from GM’s U.S., European and other global engineering centers.

GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner reportedly had a close hand in the final styling of the Cruz, ordering a bolder look for the car.

The Cruze interior features a dual cockpit with highly detailed features. It employs matching high-end fabric on seats, inner door panels and the instrument panel.

The Orlando’s interior is based on the Cruze and shares similar high-end detailing. GMDAT calls it a “people carrier,” describing the vehicle as a mix between a family wagon and sporty SUV.

The source does not reveal production numbers for the Cruze, but the Gunsan plant has capacity to build 260,000 vehicles annually and can exceed that volume.

He also says GMDAT will develop its own electric-range vehicle for Korea within two to three years. “We’ll apply the (Chevy) Volt technology, but it will be a different model.”

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