LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Building a car at the General Motors Lordstown plant is a process that, from start to finish, takes about 20 hours.
A steel coil being lifted from the floor marks the start of a Chevrolet Cruze in the west plant of the complex, known as the stamping or body shop. The coil is lifted by a crane and placed on a press, into which the sheets of steel are fed.
The stamping process creates the car’s body parts, like doors and hoods. Robots weld all of the parts together.
When the bodies are finished, they are moved by conveyor to the paint shop. Each body is first run through a liquid, which improves the finish and durability of the paint. The sealant and paint are applied by robots.
From the paint shop, the car is dropped into the trim shop, where the bulk of the new investment at the GM plant came from.
“Primarily, the trim shop focuses on assembling the glass to the vehicle, building up the doors and doing the interior assembly,” said Amy Carrier, 1st shift trim leader.
The seats are also installed by robots. After the front seat panel is installed, the console between the front seats is added.
Then, the Cruze and Chevy logos are put on the cars. The vehicles rise up and down as they move along the line, an ergonomic design to make it easier on the workers.
The windshields are installed the same way. Robot arms secure a piece of glass and gently drop it into place.
There are 266 total operations in the trim shop before the car heads to chassis.
“Where the chassis of the vehicle, the engine, transmission, tires and some of the exterior components are put on the vehicle,” Carrier said.
The engine line, a sub-division of the assembly process, is near the start of chassis where the engine and transmission are put in place.
“You have your motor mounts, transmission mounts, radiator hoses, all get put on along this line,” said Jennifer Passewitz, Motor Line Group Leader.
It’s along the chassis line where the engine is put into the car, the tires are installed and the logos are added.
Over a thousand cars pass through the assembly line at GM Lordstown every day.