GM debuts Menlo electric crossover in China
The crossover is based on the Bolt but will not be sold in the US market.
General Motors has revealed the Chevrolet Menlo, an all-electric crossover based on the Bolt's architecture.
The Menlo will be the brand's first EV available in China, with a range of 255 miles according to the generous NEDC test cycle. The range estimate would likely drop to just under 200 miles if tested using EPA standards.
The company used its FNR-X concept as design inspiration for the Menlo, resulting in a much sportier aesthetic than the Bolt.
Surprisingly, GM appears uninterested in bringing the Menlo to US showrooms despite the crossover's obvious advantages over the Bolt in terms of design and positioning. The Bolt has never been a hot item in America, where buyers are much more interested in crossovers.
GM's decision to essentially build an electric alternative to the Sonic raised a few eyebrows, as the Sonic fits between the Volt and the Bolt as the worst-selling Chevy models.
The Menlo is more of an electric alternative to the Trax, which outsells the Bolt by a six-to-one margin in America. GM's product planning arguably gives the appearance that the company simply does not want to sell many EVs in the US, which aligns with unofficial reports claiming the Bolt is not yet profitable.
The Chinese government has implemented regulations that are much more favorable to electric vehicles than in the US. In some cases, the market differences may create scenarios in which a certain model would have to be sold at a loss in the US but would earn a profit in China. It is unclear if the Menlo falls into such a category, which may help explain GM's decision to hold back on launching EVs that have any chance of significant sales volume in the automaker's home country.