Chevrolet Confirms Cobalt Replaces Cavalier
Associated Press (AP) reported that a new Chevrolet to be built at the General Motors Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio, from 2004, replacing the Cavalier, will be called Cobalt.AP said the name wasn't a surprise because car dealers were shown a prototype of the car at an event in California a few weeks ago. But Chevrolet had withheld the name until June 24, when it announced it to employees at the plant, the report added, noting also that the 22-year-old Cavalier name is being retired.According to AP, the nameplate was also used for a time on the other side of the Atlantic on similar-sized Vauxhall models sold by GM’s UK unit. The name was replaced with Vectra in 1995.AP said the Cobalt is due out in autumn 2004 as a 2005 model and, to prepare, GM is spending more than $550 million to renovate and upgrade the Lordstown assembly plant and adjacent fabrication plant.AP added that GM hasn't announced whether it will build a Pontiac at the northeast Ohio plant, as it does now with [the Cavalier-based Sunfire derivative].According to Associated Press, cobalt is a metallic element used in alloys to make cutting tools, jet engines and high-strength magnets.The report, citing company spokeswoman Carolyn Normandin, said Chevrolet market studies showed that young potential customers associated the name with power, strength and dependability.AP said Chevrolet also released a sketch of the car to employees while Normandin said the car will be shown in public later this year, though a date hasn't been set.Associated Press said Chevrolet is calling the Cobalt a premium small car that will compete against the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic.Normandin said the Cobalt will be aimed at buyers who want the size and efficiency of a small car but with more upscale features and styling. Pricing hasn't been announced, the AP report added.