• Feb 23rd 2010 at 9:01AM
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2011 Chevrolet Cruze – Click above for high-res image gallery

It looks like General Motors is going to announce that Lordstown will be getting a third shift. Lordstown, Ohio is the plant where GM is going to be building its new compact Chevrolet Cruze, and apparently they think the demand is going to be pretty high for this handsome little sedan.

If you recall, Lordstown was supposed to be a round-the-clock plant when then-GM CEO Rick Wagoner announced a third shift and $350 million investment in the plant. That was way back In August 2008, though, before the carpocolypse. By September, the industry and whole country found themselves in a free-fall. By January 2009, two shifts were eliminated at Lordstwown, idling some 2,800 workers. Last April GM idled the whole plant for three weeks to cut supply and lower operating costs.

The addition of a third shift should bring a number of union employees back to work building the all-important new Cruze, wit the highly efficient, 40-mile-per-gallon Cruze arriving in dealerships this fall.

General Motors made the extra shift at its Lordstown, OH plant official today saying it will add 1,200 new jobs. Follow the jump for GM's official press release.

[Source: Detroit News]
Show full PR text
General Motors Bringing 1,200 Jobs to Lordstown Complex
    • Third shift added to support production of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze·
    • The Chevrolet Cruze program represents a $500 million investment in U.S. manufacturing, including more than $350 million to revamp Lordstown facilities·
    • Chevrolet Cruze is a fuel-efficient global car coming to North America, affirming GM's product-focused turnaround strategy

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – General Motors will add a third shift at its Lordstown, Ohio complex, adding 1,200 jobs to support production of the new, 2011 Chevrolet Cruze compact car. As previously announced, the Chevrolet Cruze program represents a $500 million investment in U.S. manufacturing operations, which includes more than $350 million to re-tool the Lordstown facility.

Production begins in the third quarter and will increase the Lordstown workforce from 3,300 to 4,500. The third shift is expected to generate $47 million in additional payroll, $470,000 in local income taxes and $1.4 million in state income tax.

Since last July, GM has made announcements that represent about 5,515 new jobs and investment by the company of more than $1.4 billion in the United States.

"Adding a third shift to build Cruze is an investment with impact far beyond General Motors. It's an investment in the long-term value of Lordstown and the prosperity of Ohio," said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. "It provides rewarding manufacturing jobs and efficient class-leading new cars for American car buyers."

"Lordstown is the latest announcement made by GM to secure the best possible manufacturing footprint to react to market demand and deliver cars and trucks faster to our customers."

Additional Ohio-based production support comes from:

  • GM's Defiance Foundry, which will build engine blocks for the Cruze
  • GM's Parma Metal Center, which will stamp 49 different components for the Cruze
  • GM's Toledo Powertrain Center, which produce transmissions for the Cruze (after initial vehicle production begins).
  • Eighteen Tier 1 suppliers located in the Lordstown area and throughout the state that will contribute numerous parts and subassemblies

"Cruze is a perfect example of how GM's turnaround is focused on the right products at the right time," said Reuss. "This is a global car already kicking goals in 60 international markets. Based on that reaction, we expect the plant will be busy building a hot seller for North America."

The 2011 Cruze is the first of a family of new Chevrolet small and compact cars that are designed to offer excellent fuel economy, outstanding quality and top safety ratings. Lordstown will produce Cruze models for the United States and Canada.

The Lordstown complex covers 5 million square feet and includes 25 miles of conveyors. Last year, the facility – which includes on on-site stamping plant – purchased nearly 102,000 tons of steel and recycled nearly 53,000 tons of it. Renovations in preparation for the Cruze include a new, state-of-the-art body shop, with more than 800 new robotic systems.

Since vehicle assembly started in 1966, the Lordstown complex has produced about 14.3 million GM cars. It currently builds the Chevrolet Cobalt, of which more than 1 million have been produced since its 2004 launch. Cobalt production will end as Cruze production ramps up this summer.

Recent GM production announcements and investments mean jobs
The addition of a third shift at Lordstown follows other recent decisions to strategically extend production capacity to deliver more hot selling products to North American buyers.

On Feb. 18, GM announced a $494 million investment and the creation of nearly 550 jobs, among three facilities, to produce the next-generation of fuel-efficient Ecotec four-cylinder engines.

Additional announcements include:

  • Third shifts added at the Fairfax, Kansas; Lansing Delta Township, Mich. and Fort Wayne, Ind. assembly plants, adding a total of 2,400 jobs; the third shift started at Fairfax last month, while the Lansing Delta Township and Fort Wayne third shifts start in the second quarter
  • The all-new Chevrolet Aveo, another member of Chevrolet's growing family of small and compact cars, will be built in Lake Orion, Mich. in 2011 for the North American market
  • A $246 million investment at GM's White Marsh, Md. Transmission plant to develop and manufacture electric motors in the U.S., which will create about 200 jobs.

GM has also announced an investment of $700 million in Michigan-area facilities to support production of the Chevrolet Volt, including the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, the Flint Engine South engine plant and a new lithium-ion battery pack plant in Brownstown Township, Mich.

Since launching the new GM last July, GM has made announcements representing investments totaling more than $1.4 billion at 18 facilities. These investments create more than 5,515 jobs and demonstrate a commitment to GM's future and to the United States.

Cruze brings midsize car presence to the compact segment
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze offers the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, combined with segment-leading features and details that challenge preconceived notions about what a compact car can be in North America. It also affirms Chevrolet's commitment to building refined, fuel-efficient vehicles featuring new, small-displacement four-cylinder Ecotec engines.

Cruze is expected to deliver segment-leading fuel economy of 40 mpg on the highway with a high-efficiency model, using a new Ecotec 1.4L I-4 turbo with variable valve timing – that's hybrid-like performance without the cost of a hybrid.

"Cruze is already a hit in Europe and Asia, and it is designed to challenge the status quo in America," said Jim Campbell, general manager, Chevrolet. "Along with the Volt electric vehicle, Cruze is the latest tangible example of how Chevrolet is working to bring new products to market that range from gas-friendly to gas-free."

The 2011 Cruze will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Standard and available equipment includes:

  • Ten standard air bags, including frontal, side-impact, roof rail head curtain, rear-seat side air bags and new front knee air bags
  • Bluetooth, USB connectivity and navigation system
  • XM Satellite Radio and OnStar
  • MacPherson strut front suspension and Z-link rear suspension, with 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels
  • Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control with rollover sensing, traction control and anti-lock brakes
  • Fuel-saving, rack-mounted electric power steering
  • Unexpected levels of quietness, smoothness and refinement for the segment.

All models share an interior characterized by upscale materials and a lengthy roster of equipment usually found in larger and more expensive vehicles. Available technologies include Bluetooth and a navigation system.

Cruze's Ecotec 1.4L turbo performs like a larger engine when needed, but retains the efficiency of a small-displacement four-cylinder in most driving conditions; it is standard on LT and LTZ models. Rated at an estimated at 138 horsepower (103 kW) and 148 lb.-ft. of torque (200 Nm), it enables a cruising range of more than 500 miles (800 km). Cruze will lead the way for Chevrolet in small-displacement, turbocharged Ecotec engines that are highly fuel-efficient and fun to drive.

Standard on LS models is an Ecotec 1.8L four-cylinder that has the same basic architecture as the 1.4L turbo. Both engines are designed with fuel efficiency in mind, including technology such as full variable valve timing that optimizes performance and fuel economy across the rpm band.

Backing the Cruze's engines are six-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Each contributes to Cruze's excellent fuel economy.

Engineers have already logged more than 4 million miles in quality and durability testing worldwide, making Cruze one of the most real world-tested GM products prior to a U.S. launch. It is backed by GM's five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty – the best coverage in America.

About General Motors
General Motors, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 204,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Italy. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at www.gm.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      3 shifts for a car that has been greeted by collective yawns of disinterest in every market it has been released in. It sounds like the old GM is coming back in a big way. They are setting themselves up for heavy fleet sales and lots of cash on the hood right out of the gate. Unless of course they plan to export a larger than normal percentage of production. However, I haven't heard of any additional export markets that have recently discovered the the appeal of free markets.

      Of course, if Toyota does actually get impacted by their deciet in the form of lost sales it would make sense that this car would have an opportunity to pick up a material portion of a reduction in Corolla sales. However, it seems very unlikely that two months from now that you would even be able to tell that Toyota was on the hotseat in recent weeks. The Toyotaphiles are just too loyal or stupid depending on how you look at it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @jobu: for many years when GM has been pushing out Cavaliers, it sold well to consumers rather than as fleet sales despite it being crapped on by the auto enthusiast and those a like. It is a repeat with the Cobalt. Consumers as well as fleet bought it up until 2007 when GM Reduced its fleet sales and mostly consumers once again bought them up until the economy crashed. Now that the economy is healing, the Cobalt's sales are increasing heavily.
        As far as the Cruze, it sells well in Europe and Australia. It got decent reviews. Why is it late here? Because they want to make more improvements if need be before it got to our shores. As far as exports, that won't happen because they are built all around the world. Now back to the 3rd shift. Since this car is a super vast improvement over the Cobalt in the room, refinement and stying department, and the fact that will hold its own (based on my driving experience) in the competition, the sales of the cruze will be consistent with its predecessors, and therefore a 3rd shift will be needed.
        • 5 Years Ago

        How can GM know it will need a 3rd shift on a new car? I bet if they polled 2000 potential car buyers maybe 1-2% would even know what a Cruze is. This vehicle has no purchase consideration because no one (general public) knows about it.

        I think they are making a mistake and over capacity is not one they need to be making (again). Why not make the vehicle at normal levels and increase production when the sales dictate?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The ford focus has many problems local newspaper uses the they are good for 80.000 miles...family has owned cobolts with 400.000 + miles with no major problems then sold them to local car rental for use.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Look for the announcement of the third shift being eliminated as the public yawns at this stale piece of toast. Once the Focus hits the market, you'll be most likely to find these on your nearest Avis lot.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't you guys see--That is indeed GM's plan! GM knows Focus is more exciting to look at, so they have to ramp up production and sell as many Cruzes as possible before the Focus is available.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmmm. Handsome? Not with the high forehead and headlight treatment. The rest of the car looks fine, but that needs work. I'm also not a big fan of Chevy's new grill theme, but it wouldn't be a deal breaker.

      But that interior! Gahh! It's a mess. The instrument panel has too many distracting lines and curves, too much separation, if you will. And that theme appears to carry over into the dash and door lines. It's just all too busy and convoluted. The materials look nice enough, but the design is a fail.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. Especially that gaping hole at the top of the center stack. Ruins the interior for me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Timing is everything. If this car had hit the market five years ago (instead of the Cobalt), the styling would have been fresh, but with GM's poor reputation, along with all the divisions (eight back then) they had to support with marketing dollars, it wouldn't halve sold in big numbers.

      Now, buyers might be marginally more interested in looking at GM products due to Toyota's misfortunes (although they'd more likely look at Hyundai instead), but the styling is already dated. I can see these selling 200,000 copies a year, tops.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think GM should wait and see exactly what the demand is on this car before their optimism gets carried away (again).

      Enthusiasm for GM cars tends to be very short-lived (e.g. Camaro; SST; G8).

      • 5 Years Ago
      The car is quite bland, even more so in person (when viewed at the Los Angeles Auto Show). I don't blame GM for going with safer, more broadly appealing designs, but mismanaging consumer interest would still seem to apply. Nonetheless, if this car is cheap enough, it may have some legs.

      At the same time, the Malibu is a fantastic car. It has a fantastic design, competitive pricing, and quite a few trims/options to go with. The Malibu is NOT setting the world on fire, despite all of that; so it begs the question, why would the Cruze, which is decidedly underwhelming in comparison with the rest of the market (or on par with Toyota, which isn't a great association these days either), necessitate such a build-up?

      The real issue isn't the car, once again it is the GM mentality with the third shift causing an uncomfortably familiar stir.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There are a lot of comments about the Focus > Cruze and taking its sales. It will come down to cost. The Focus will definitely be more expensive than the Cruze. Remember, in Europe it competes with the VW Golf and Opel Astra. If the price is close, the Focus could very well dominate. If the Focus is too expensive, it will not sell well. This is a segment that is based on affordability.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Yeah, but the Corolla sells on it's quality and reputation. Chevy doesn't have that, so it should take a chance on a stellar product. If people see two Corollas, one Chevy and one Toyota, they'll take the Toyota. Gotta give them an additional reason to go to the Chevy. Can't be the same - gotta be better."

      Been following Toyota's "quality and reliability" lately?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The focus can't hold a candle to the Cruze in person.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I guess they are anticipating many potential Corolla buyers will be buying the Cruze instead.
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