GM has reregistered its Cavalier nameplate, a badge that once sat on the rear of a small, boxy compact four-door sedan and two-door coupe through the 1980s and ‘90s.
Though the model was pulled from US showrooms in 2005, Chevrolet seems to be mulling a comeback.
It’s not an entirely unusual move, given it has kept the name going in China, where the Cavalier sells as a slightly smaller equivalent to the Chevrolet Cruze that it also exports to Mexico. However, with GM idling its Lordstown, Ohio and Oshawa, Ontario production plants in the US to help save billions by 2020, the Cruze (and Impala) is no longer in production, leaving space in the line-up for a potential replacement.
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While the Chinese Cavalier is currently built on a left-hand drive-only Delta II platform, the architecture is due to be updated to GM’s global D2XX platform that underpins imported GM product such as the Holden Equinox and Astra. The latter has a huge question mark over its future in the lion brand’s line-up, as the Astra sedan has quietly stopped production with the closure of GM’s Gunsan, South Korea plant and the Opel-sourced Astra hatch is rumoured to eventually be imported by automotive distributor Inchcape, from its new European owner Groupe PSA.
The potential reshuffle would leave GM with a hole in Holden’s line-up. Despite focusing on SUVs and its light commercial range, small cars remain a hot segment that Holden suffers to succeed in as it continues to slide down the sales ladder. Perhaps Holden will also look to its past, reviving the short-lived Camira nameplate that shared a modified version of the J-car platform with GM’s Cavalier during the ‘80s.
Problems with the current Cavalier revolve around its 83kW/140Nm drivetrain that’s underpowered for either the US or Australia, though a D2XX platform update could prop up the Astra Sedan’s 1.4-litre turbo engine that produces a mightier 110kW and 240Nm.
Speaking to Wheels, Holden said that it continues to offer the current Astra sedan as part of its folio - at least until stocks last.
"The Astra sedan continues as part of Holden’s portfolio and we have no further announcements to make at this time," said product PR manager, Daniel Cotterill.