Last January, General Motors announced it will sell a new small crossover, dubbed the Chevrolet Orlando, in the U.S. market. But plans change, and GM has confirmed that the model will not be sold in the U.S.
Like the concept vehicle shown at the 2008 Paris motor show, the Orlando will be a small seven-seat MPV built upon a stretched from of GM’s Delta II platform, which also underpins the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and Cruze. The Orlando was expected to use the same engines as the Cruze, including a normally aspirated 1.8-liter I-4 and a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder. GM had hoped the MPV could provide customers with a spacious vehicle that returns better fuel economy than most small SUVs.
We’ll no longer have a chance to see if such a combination is possible. After carefully evaluating the U.S. market, GM feels Americans aren’t ready for a small MPV such as the Orlando. Instead, the automaker says it will concentrate on “vehicles that appeal to the modern family,” including the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain small SUVs, Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan, and the forthcoming Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan. Although Ford plans on launching a small MPV of its own in the next few years, a GM spokesperson says “it is unlikely” that the Orlando could work its way stateside in the near future.
The Orlando model itself, however, is far from dead. The MPV will still be sold in Europe and Asia, where it will be a critical product in GM’s portfolio. Interestingly, the Orlando will still be sold in North America — GM says the mini-crossover will still be sold in the Canadian market.