LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For the first time, General Motors will bring Chevrolet Cruzes built in Mexico and sell them in the United States.
Historically, the vehicle has been one of GM’s best-selling cars, but recently, sales of the locally-built Chevy Cruze have been so strong that dealerships have had to wait for new models. There is too much demand for the Lordstown plant to keep up, employees were told Friday at the start of their shifts.
General Motors released a statement on Friday afternoon:
Lordstown Complex is currently running three shifts to produce the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, which is off to a strong start.
In an effort to meet customer demand for the Chevrolet Cruze, GM will be utilizing existing production capacity in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, to supplement production at its plant in Lordstown, Ohio.
Cruze vehicles are continuing to arrive in dealers across the U.S. and Canada, and we expect that dealer inventories will increase this month. In May, Cruze retail share was up 2 percentage points and its average transaction price was up substantially from last fall. The all-new Cruze accounted for 85 percent of Cruze retail sales in May compared to 53 percent in April.
Spitzer Chevy Manager Barry Gonis said his dealership usually sells 15 to 20 Cruzes a month, but right now, he only has about 30 in stock.
“We like to have it ramped up to about 70 to 75 Cruzes on the ground, but we still have a great selection, and they’re gonna slowly be coming in,” he said.
This week, First News learned that the usual summer shutdown at the Lordstown plant won’t be happening as managers work to maintain production levels.
Kristin Dziczek, director of the Industry, Labor & Economics Group at the Center for Automotive Research, said the Cruze is an anomaly in that the Cruze continues to outsell other small cars.
She said the existing contract with the United Autoworkers allows for Cruzes to be brought in from outside the country if domestic production is strong. Local sources are calling the change only temporary, adding that only a limited number of Mexican Cruzes will be shipped in.
“The Cruze is slated to be at Lordstown through the end of this decade, so it’s great to have a product that’s selling now,” she said.