Chevrolet Orlando Concept - Hopeful Speculation

Chevrolet just unveiled the Orlando at the Paris Motor Show last week, and it is one of the cars debuted that looks like it could have a future here in Thailand.

Chevrolet Orlando Front Image

The Orlando is a 7-seat people mover, crossover, SUV, small 4-wheel drive with no aspirations for off-roading type car. It's actually very similar both in form and function to the Honda Crossroad.

Honda Crossroad Small Image

Honda don't sell the Crossroad in Thailand because it would compete somewhat with the CR-V. Honda also had a poor run of it with the 7-seat Stream, that eventually bowed out of the Thai market when the Wish clobbered it in what was already quite a small segment of the market.

Back to Chevrolet, and the Orlando, the situation is a little bit different. Chevrolet are enjoying a relatively successful run of it in Thailand.

The Chevrolet brand has a very good image in Thailand, where many Thais I've spoken to seem to believe that American cars are stronger than their Asian counterparts. Whether this reputation is founded or not is another issue, especially considering that the Aveo, Optra and Captiva all have Korean origins, and the Colorado is little more than a re-boxed and badged Isuzu D-Max.

But Chevrolet is doing okay in Thailand. Based on sales volume they are ahead of long-established rivals including Mazda, Mitsubishi and Nissan.

So for Chevrolet Thailand, there might be a bullish feeling that adding a new model to the line might be worth a try. Although the Orlando could possibly step on the toes of the Captiva somewhat, it also has the potential of outshining the Captiva altogether.

Should Chevrolet choose to replace the Optra with the Cruze next year, then the Orlando is even more possible since it is based on the same platform as the Cruze.

Additionally, it is possible that Chevrolet may wish to use Thailand as the production hub for the vehicle, and export to other Asian markets. However, they also have Korea as an option for this, as it has already been confirmed that the Cruze will be produced there.


Assuming that it is produced here, it is likely that the engine line up will be the same as the Cruze. Possibly up-rated 1.6 and 1.8 litre petrol units like the current Optra.

The engine that I would love to see in the Orlando is the 2.0 litre 150 hp unit from the Captiva, and this is one of the units slated for inclusion in the high end Orlando, but Thai punters could be some way from embracing the diesel in this type of vehicle.


Chevrolet has a new 6-speed automatic that it is likely to pair up with the new Cruze, but it has yet to be seen if that will make it to Thailand. This would be a really impressive feature in a car in this segment, and if the Cruze gets it, the Orlando will also.

Initially the Orlando will be front-wheel drive, with 4-wheel drive models to be introduced later on. In Thailand, the front-wheel drive variant would be sufficient, and it would allow Chevrolet to put some additional distance between the Captiva and Orlando.

Chevrolet Orlando Side Image

What are the chances?

There is always hope. Chevrolet have taken some chances in Thailand in the past, and have had some good fortune with some of those chances. The Zefira people mover was a good seller, and had Chevrolet bothered to retool their factory to continue production of the second generation model they may well have given Toyota a run for their money.

Perhaps Chevrolet will take a chance with the Orlando. I just hope they change the name first.

Chevrolet Orlando Interior Image

Chevrolet Orlando Rear Image

Chevrolet Orlando Light Cluster Image

Related : 2012 Chevrolet Colorado to Debut at Bangkok Motor Show