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Chevy bullish on Cruze Hatch shown at Detroit auto show

Melissa Burden and Michael Wayland
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet brand officially Monday debuted the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatch, which the automaker’s North American president expects will be successful in bringing new and younger buyers to the brand.

The bow-tie brand showcased the sporty Cruze Hatch, a new entry for Chevy that will be available this fall and will help compete for younger buyers. The Chevy Cruze Hatch, which bowed at the North American International Auto show, will compete with the Ford Focus hatchback, a new Honda Civic hatchback coming this year, plus vehicles such as the Hyundai Elantra, Volkswagen Golf and Mazda3.

“This will expand our portfolio and help us grow sales and bring young people to the brand,” GM North America President Alan Batey told reporters following the reveal.

Batey would not predict the percentage of sales the hatchback will represent vs. the new 2016 Cruze sedan. The Focus hatch totals about 40 percent of Focus sales.

“I have no doubt we will be very successful with the hatchback,” he said.

Batey said the segment has been growing in the U.S. and the automaker was able to expand its portfolio and that adding the hatchback version was a “very low cost opportunity” for GM. He said Chevy could offer performance variants of the Cruze Hatch.

The Cruze Hatch has a new 1.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder turbocharged engine making 138 horsepower and it will be available in the LT and Premier trims and the sporty RS performance package. Pricing has not been announced.

Chevy’s new hatch will be built at GM's Ramos Arizpe plant in Mexico and will be sold in 40 countries, said Chris Biggs, executive director for the global Cruze program.

mburden@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2319

Twitter.com/MBurden_DN

Phil Berg contributed.