Would consider 'viable' opportunities for Cruze and Lordstown plant — GM

Mae Love
March 22, 2019

The largest US automaker has come under heavy criticism from President Donald Trump in recent days over its decision to end production at its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant earlier this month. GM did not disclose the name of the new EV or the timing of production.

The Orion plant now builds the Bolt EV, and the new Chevrolet EV will be based off an advanced version of the same vehicle architecture.

Moving production to a US manufacturing plant also supports the rules of origin provisions in the proposed United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement, according to a news release.

The Bolt EV, the new model, and a new lineup of electric cars on the BEV3 platform are the first-fruits of GM's efforts to transition to building all electric cars as part of its vision, announced in 2017, for a world with "zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion", as Barra has articulated.

"This new Chevrolet electric vehicle is another positive step toward our commitment to an all-electric future", said Mary Barra, GM's CEO, in a statement.

"We remain open to talking with all affected stakeholders, but our main focus remains on our employees and offering them jobs in our plants where we have growth opportunities", said Flores.

Enlarge Image The Lake Orion facility also builds the Cruise AV which is an autonomous development vehicle based on the Bolt EV.                  General Motors
Enlarge Image The Lake Orion facility also builds the Cruise AV which is an autonomous development vehicle based on the Bolt EV. General Motors

The investment comes after months of reports of layoffs at GM which began late past year. During the weekend, Trump demanded that GM reopen the plant or sell it, criticized the local union leader and expressed frustration with Barra. Indeed, GM has said it planned to build more vehicles off the underpinnings of the Bolt, which can go an estimated 238 miles on a single electric charge. Chevrolet sold just over 18,000 Bolts in the US last year, a drop of almost 23 percent compared to 2017.

GM has said it can place about 2,700 of the laid-off USA workers at other factories, but it's unclear how many will uproot and take those positions.

The plant now makes the Chevrolet Bolt and is working on autonomous vehicles.

Last year, GM said it would end production at five North American assembly plants and eliminate about 15,000 jobs, prompting outrage and a two-day visit by Barra to Capitol Hill to answer questions about the job cuts.

OH and the area around the Lordstown plant are important to Trump's 2020 re-election bid.

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