GM CEO Barra again avoids commitment to Lordstown


U.S. Sen. Rob Portman came away from a Tuesday meeting with General Motors CEO Mary Barra “disappointed” in what he heard – or rather, did not hear – about the future of the GM Lordstown plant.

“It was a very candid discussion,” Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican, told The Vindicator. “I’m not happy. It was disappointing. I pushed her to make a public commitment to the Valley. ... She would not make that commitment.”

The Lordstown plant, which manufactures the Chevrolet Cruze compact car, is now operating on one shift. It lost its third shift early last year, and the second shift was cut this summer. The cutbacks have occurred as sales of the compact car have slumped. The compact Cruze’s sales declined for 11 consecutive months through March, the last month for which a breakdown of the compact car’s sales numbers were released.

The cutbacks have led to questions about the plant’s future, but GM has not indicated what its plans are for the plant.

Portman’s meeting with Barra marks the second time a senator has met with her and come away with the same message.

Read more about the matter in Wednesday's Vindicator or on