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GM Invests $50 Million In Lordstown Plant for Next-Gen Chevrolet Cruze

May 5, 2014

Last week, it was announced that General Motors Co. is investing $50 million in its Lordstown Complex in Warren, Ohio. The hefty investment will give the plant a new flexible Trim Shop as well as an upgraded Press Room in preparation for the production of the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan.

“This investment will enhance our customer responsiveness while providing our team with the tools and processes needed to be the best at building the next generation Cruze,” Lordstown Plant Manager Bob Parcell said in a statement.

Construction work has already started at the Lordstown plant, which has manufactured the Cruze for almost four years. The Chevrolet Cruze for North America was introduced in September 8, 2010. Since its launch, the Cruze has become GM’s best-selling car. It was also the seventh best-selling car in the United States in the first quarter of 2014.

Last year, Lordstown introduced the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. This Cruze, which provides the best highway mileage of any gas or diesel engine in the country, was declared the Diesel Car of the Year of 2013.

On April 10, the Lordstown plant manufactured the 1 millionth Cruze—a red LT model with the RS package. It was announced that UAW Locals 1112 and 1714 will be purchasing the vehicle, which will be raffled to a Lordstown employee. All raffle ticket proceeds will be donated to local charities.

GM revealed the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. The model was refreshed, boasting some exterior modifications as well as the addition of 4G internet connectivity. Chevrolet has yet to announce the start of production for the 2016 model, but it is expected that it will begin sometime next year.

The 2016 Cruze was spied last month without camouflage, giving car enthusiasts a peek of the new model’s appearance. The compact sedan resembled the Cruze GM debuted at the 2014 Beijing auto show. Though it was said that the Cruze launched at the auto show was exclusively for the Chinese market, it proved to be a glimpse of what the U.S. market should expect.

The Lordstown Complex was opened in April 1966 and has since produced 15 million vehicles. These include the Chevrolet Bel Air, Pontiac Firebird, Chevrolet Cavalier and the Chevrolet Cobalt.

Last week, GM also announced that it has started the construction of the GM Performance and Racing Center or GMPRC. This will not only serve as a facility for race engine and development, but also as a laboratory for electric motors and gears.

The GMPRC, which is located at Pontiac, Michigan, will be housing GM’s race engineering staff; engineers and technicians from the Wixom, Michigan facility will relocate to GMPRC next year as part of the automaker’s centralization effort. GM wants its racing and production engineering teams to be under one roof.

“Connecting our race engineers with our global powertrain engineering teams will improve our customers’ powertrains in terms of efficiency, reliability and durability. The center will also provide exciting career opportunities for our engineering organization,” said Steve Kiefer, vice president of GM Global Powertrain, in a statement.

Photo credit: © General Motors CC BY-NC

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