UPDATE: GM to invest $200 million in Lordstown for new Cruze

LORDSTOWN — General Motors will invest $220 million for tooling and equipment to build the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze, retaining 5,000 jobs between the company’s Lordstown and Parma facilities, according to a statement released this afternoon.

GM has already begun to retool the factory; $200 million of the investment will be used there.

"It's a great day at Lordstown," UAW 1112 President Glenn Johnson told those gathered for a 2 p.m. news conference at the union hall.

GM Manufacturing Manager Arvin Jones said the new model will offer new exterior and interior styling, improved fuel economy and an improved interior compartment and more storage space. Production timing of the next-generation Cruze will be announced later.

“Thanks to northeast Ohio’s supportive business climate, we’re able to build on a great foundation and steer the Chevrolet Cruze into the next generation,” Jones said. “A special thanks goes to Governor John Kasich and his team at Jobs Ohio for their strong leadership and advocacy for GM and our employees.”

Starting earlier in the week there had been information about an announcement coming for the plant that would be good news.

The current Cruze model is scheduled for production by GM through 2014. The company had not previously stated what would happen after that date.

Production timing of the next-generation Cruze will be announced later, the company said.

In a joint statement released by GM, UAW Local 1112 Shop Chairman Ben Strickland and UAW Local 1714 Shop Chairman Will Adams credited the Lordstown Team: “The men and women of Lordstown are working hard to keep the Cruze a top-quality small car choice. The next-generation of the Cruze is well earned and we are thrilled to be assigned work that will keep good-paying next generation UAW jobs in the state of Ohio for years to come.”

The Lordstown complex has built more than 14.6 million cars in the 46 years since it opened in April 1966, the statement noted, adding "In 2011, the Parma Metal Center shipped about 60 million parts and processed more than 1,000 tons of steel a day to serve the majority of GM vehicle lines produced in North America. Parma has more than 1,400 dies and can produce up to 100 million parts a year."

Continue to watch Vindy.com for updates and see Friday's Vindicator for details.