LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WCMH) – Lordstown’s last Chevy Cruze rolled off the assembly line around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and will be ready to ship by Thursday.
The car came out of the trim shop on Wednesday morning and to the Automated Guided Vehicles area, where the undercarriage was built and married to the chassis. It went down the final line for quality checks and was driven outside to the shipping lot.
It marks the end of a product line at GM Lordstown. General Motors is ending production of the Cruze at the plant, and the facility will be shuttered on Friday.
GM has been making cars in Lordstown for 52 years — since 1966. It’s changed models numerous times but has been making the Chevy Cruze since 2010.
GM Lordstown is the first of five North American plants closing by the end of the year. The closing is part of a restructuring plan within General Motors to focus on making trucks, SUVs and electric and autonomous vehicles.
The United Auto Workers union has remained optimistic, however, leading the “Drive it Home” campaign to bring another product to the plant. The union also sued GM to keep production there.
In 2017, the plant provided $250 million in wages and $48 million in withholding taxes.
Senator Sherrod Brown issued a statement Wednesday regarding the plant closure.
“This week, GM is set to lay off thousands of workers in Lordstown. We know how devastating that is for the workers, for their families, for local businesses, for the entire community. We also know it doesn’t have to be this way. We need to overhaul our trade and tax policy, and end this corporate business model where companies like GM close American plants, collect a tax break to move overseas, only to sell those cars back into the U.S. That’s why I’m reintroducing the American Cars, American Jobs Act,”
Additional facts about GM Lordstown:
– The plant opened in April 1966. The first car off the line was a Chevrolet Impala sports sedan that went to a local car dealership. Vehicles produced at Lordstown over the years have included other full-size sedans, vans and various compact cars, including the infamous Chevy Vega, considered one of the worst American-made cars ever.
– The plant’s footprint is 6.2 million square feet (nearly 600,000 square meters), the equivalent of around 108 American football fields.
– Lordstown has produced more than 16 million vehicles since 1966.
– Nearly 1.9 million Chevrolet Cruze sedans have been assembled at Lordstown since the vehicle went into production in 2011. Peak production reached 290,000 cars in 2014. Just over 123,000 were made last year.
– The plant, located in the Trumbull County village of Lordstown, is about 60 miles southeast of downtown Cleveland and about 75 miles northwest of downtown Pittsburgh.