GM To Close Ohio's Largest Auto Plant In Lordstown

(Lordstown) - As part of a worldwide restructuring, General Motors is closing five plants in North America, including the sprawling Lordstown complex outside Warren, the largest auto plant in Ohio.

GM says production of the Chevy Cruze will end on March 1st, both in Lordstown, where the sedan is made, and at a plant in Mexico that makes the Cruze station wagon.

Monday's news about the Lordstown plant was "A shot in the gut" to David Green, president of UAW Local 11-12.  Green says efforts will begin to try to convince GM to build another vehicle.  Green says they were told that the Chevy Cruze sedan, made in Lordstown, is being discontinued by GM.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown calls the decision "Corporate greed at it worst."

The Lordstown assembly plant has been in operation over 50 years, having turned out a variety of cars over the years, including the Chevy Cruze, the Chevy Cobalt, and back in the 70s, the Chevy Vega.

About 1,600 people currently work at the plant, mostly for GM, but a few others for suppliers.  The plant, not that long ago, ran three daily shifts.  That was cut to two shifts, and in the past year, just one shift.

Auto industry analysts have noted that in recent years, sales of SUVs, crossovers and pickup trucks are up, while sales of sedans are down.

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