The all-new Cruze compact car from General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] was just revealed in some detail this morning, but already GM has announced its plans to put a half-billion dollar fund behind the car's production and promotion in the U.S. Of that $500 million, $350 million will be headed directly into the company's Lordstown, Ohio plant.

The information, presented by Chevrolet vice president Ed Peper, included a mission statement for the Cruze.

“The Cruze will build on the already successful Chevrolet Cobalt, Cobalt XFE and Cobalt SS, all of which are nearly sold out in dealer showrooms,” Peper said. “Our dealers are asking for many more Cobalts than we can build.”

Not due for official debut until the Paris Motor Show in October, the car has already been widely discussed as part of the core of GM's future North American small-car strategy. The news of the strong investment GM is making in the Cruze's U.S. production confirms that commitment, and also confirms GM's target of becoming a fuel-efficiency leader in the compact segment, which is no easy task given the strong competition already present.

Nevertheless, the Cruze's figures are expected to equal or surpass the Cobalt's when it finally is revealed. The high-efficiency Cobalt XFE, which uses a modified gear ratio to improve mileage, is rated at 37mpg highway, while the 1.4L engine to be used in the Cruze is expected to help it achieve 40mpg (5.88L/100km) on the open road.


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