Subcompact cars are big projects for GM and Ford

Photo of a subcompact car.

Ford and General Motors want a larger share of the subcompact car market. CC by joelCgarcia/Flickr

Domestic automakers have been trying to get greater market share in subcompacts since the 1970s. Small, inexpensive cars that sip from the gas tank have largely been the domain of Honda and Toyota. The Big Three — GM, Ford and Chrysler — have been trying to catch up ever since. Later this year, the Chevy Cruze is going to be released for sale and Ford will soon debut the new Focus. Both car makers seem to be poised for aggressive marketing of those models.

The new look GM rolls out the Chevy Cruze

Though the marketing for Chevrolet in past years may give the impression that the company only wants to sell trucks and SUVs, nothing could be further from the truth. Currently, there are two models Chevrolet offers for less than $15,000 that get more than 25 mpg: the Cobalt and Aveo. Those aren’t just two-door hatchbacks, either. That goes for coupe and sedan editions. Toyota and Honda have a bit to be worried about, as the Chevy Volt is for the hybrid crowd and the Cruze is aimed right at the heart of the subcompacts. According to the New York Times, the Cruze will get 26 miles per gallon on the standard model and up to 36 mpg on the highway. At only $16,995, it isn’t too hard on the pocketbook either.

Don’t forget about Ford

Ford offers a subcompact that has been selling really well. The Fiesta gets 29 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. The Focus is getting a facelift, and a new one will be out in 2012. The basic Focus now gets 25 mpg. A Focus is only $16,640 and the Fiesta lists at $13,320. That makes either of those cars comparable to the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla pretty easily. There will be a Fiat sold through Chrysler within the next year.

Big Three turning things around

The Big Three want to change the public’s perception. Buying American is something all three car makers want people doing, and all three will get aggressive in getting their names out there again.


New York Times

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