Plant to get all-new Cruze?

story tease

Staff report


Rumors are swirling about a major announcement coming Thursday to the Lordstown home of the Chevrolet Cruze.

The time of the announcement is expected to be released today.

A source from the United Auto Workers union confirmed there would be an announcement Thursday at the General Motors assembly plant here.

The source could not provide any specifics on the announcement but said it would be “good news.”

The Detroit News report- ed today that GM plans to announce it will produce an all-new Chevrolet Cruze at the Lordstown plant. The newspaper cited a source familiar with the plans.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, has been asked to appear at the announcement, according to a source from his office. The source, however, would not provide any information about the event.

“There is definitely some sort of announcement coming at Lordstown,” said a Democratic Party official who declined to elaborate.

Tom Mock, plant spokesman, denied that any plans for an announcement are final.

“I understand there’s a lot of rumors flying around,” he said. “Nothing has been finalized yet. There is nothing to release at this time.”

Good news would be welcomed at the plant, where recent months have seen rumors of production cuts and whether the plant’s third shift was in peril.

Cruze sales have fallen off the record pace set in 2011.

In July, there were 14,954 Cruzes sold, down 39.3 percent from the 24,648 sold in July 2011, according to GM statistics. Sales of the Cruze are down 12.7 percent from 147,620 in 2011 to 128,838 through the end of July this year.

Still, those sales make the Cruze the top-selling small car and one of the top-selling models GM makes. The brand also reinvigorated the Lordstown plant by bringing production to three shifts.

The Cruze is scheduled to be built in Lordstown through model year 2014. Plans previously announced by GM for augmentations have included both a diesel version and even a station wagon.

GM has been mum about the Cruze’s future beyond 2014.

At the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, GM unveiled a concept car for 2015 called the Tru 140s, which is based on the same Delta II platform used on both the Cruze and the Chevrolet Volt.

Automobile Magazine ranked General Motors Co.’s Lordstown plant as the ninth-highest producing vehicle plant in the United States.

In 2011, workers at Lordstown built 279,674 Chevrolet Cruzes. The plant has produced more than 14.5 million vehicles since it opened in 1966.