CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The Chevrolet Cruze saved the General Motors Lordstown plant and now the second generation model is ready to take it to new heights.
Six new 2016 GM models are highlighted at the Cleveland Auto Show, but it’s the Cruze that has the Mahoning Valley’s stamp on it.
General Motors put $250 million into the Lordstown plant to make sure the second generation of the Cruze would be as successful as the first. Plant Manager Steve Notar Donato said the investment is a statement about the product and the people who build it.
Lordstown has a new trim shop, which is where the instrument panel, seats, windshield and other interior parts are installed. Those don’t get as much attention as how the car looks on the outside. It’s longer, lighter and has more horse power than the first generation Cruze. It’s also more fuel-efficient and has better technology. Those are important updates for Chevy, which has used the Cruze to attract drivers to the bowtie brand.
“I think it attracts a lot of younger buyers. I think over 35 percent of Cruze buyers are new to the brand,” said Jim Dimond, Cruze launch engineering.
And those new buyers are important to the 5,000 workers at GM Lordstown who make the Cruze. They’re not even worried about the Cruze hatchback which will be made in Mexico.
“I don’t really see it impacting the workers at Lordstown, but I do see it giving an added bonus to the Cruze lineup,” said Glenn Johnson, president of UAW Local 1112.
The new Cruze goes on sale this spring.