General Motors stated the last Chevrolet Cruze presented the assembly line Wednesday afternoon at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant, the first of five plants in North America to put an end to it’sproduction this year and ending U.S. production of the Cruze.
Workers published pictures of the final Cruze on social media. It came off the line around 3 p.m., a GM spokesman stated.
The Cruze “was a good product and was constructed with tremendous pride by the Lordstown employees. We know this is an emotional day for our Lordstown team,” GM stated in a statement.
The Lordstown plant is being idled, resulting in the loss of 1,500 jobs. Since 2017, the automaker cut two of the three production shifts, removing 3,000 jobs amid sagging demand for small cars. The automaker is continuing to produce the Cruze in Mexico for other markets, however not for the United States.
GM noted that over 400 Lordstown workers have accepted offers at other GM locations, and it reiterated that jobs are available at other assembly plants for anyone willing to move to other states.
The United Auto Workers union, which has submitted suit challenging GM’s decision to put an end to Cruze production at Lordstown, stated it “will leave no stone unturned in keeping the Lordstown plant open”.
GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, has stated the final fate of the plant and if it will reopen will be decided this summer in contract discussions with the UAW.
The 6.3-million-square foot Lordstown assembly complex has manufactured over 16 million vehicles since it opened in 1966, this includes almost 2 million Chevrolet Cruze cars since 2010.
In November, GM declared it would idle five North American plants, consisting of Lordstown, and slash up to 15,000 jobs.
GM also revealed on Tuesday in a notice to the state of Ohio it would slash 101 jobs at the West Chester, Ohio, service
The automaker told workers of the plans in June 2018 to shut down the facility and move the work to a new warehouse in Burton, Michigan. Ohio workers can shift to Michigan if they choose, GM stated.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio referred Wednesday as “a heartbreaking day. … These workers are the heart and soul of GM.”