Update: Chevrolet Cruze production resumed as parts shortage was resolved

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 16, 2011

As the parts shortage at General Motors’ Lordstown plant in Ohio was resolved, production resumed on Thursday evening for the Chevrolet Cruze. GM shut down operations last Monday for this model. Tom Mock, the spokesman for the plant, said that the workers will come back starting on the third shift on Friday (which actually begins at 10:30 p.m. Thursday).

GM had earlier said that this parts shortage also affected the output of the Buick Verano compact sedan at a Michigan plant.

GM didn’t say what these components are but according to sources, there’s a shortage of struts used in the suspensions of these two vehicles. GM made a recorded message for its factory’s employees to tell them that the first and second shifts of its Orion Township plant near Detroit were affected by a parts shortage.

Kevin Nadrowski, a spokesman for the Orion plant, said that its model mix was affected and so it had to adjust its rate of producing the Verano. The Verano and Cruze share numerous parts and are built on the same platform. The Chevrolet Sonic subcompact is also produced at the Orion plant. GM hasn’t divulged how soon the output of its Michigan plant will be able to go back to normal.

What makes the design of the new Chevy Cruze unique is its bold face, which is a look the brand is known for worldwide. This bold face includes the celebrated Bowtie logo and the two-tier grille. The Cruze displays a sporty proportion similar to a coupe and this is due to the arching roofline which connects the fast-sloping pillars in the rear to the steeply raked windshield.

This athletic appearance is present as well in the headlamp housings that are more pronounced. It not only sweeps up to the sculpted hood and the fenders but wrap at the corners as well. It even has that short deck in the rear, a feature usually seen on a sports coupe. Even its wheels are at its corners with the overhangs in the front and rear being minimized.

Because of how these different elements manage to work well together, it results in the Cruze having a confident and wide stance that is matched with an aggressive appearance. All the strong design cues present on the exterior is in the interior as well. It even has that same level of detail. The inside has the twin-cockpit theme that is clearly inspired by the Corvette and this is complemented with both the use of high-quality materials and the excellent tolerances to the assembly.

Having the low-gloss trim panels and the soft-touch components, it gives the Cruze a quality that is highly unique to its class. Going back to the outside, the dimensions of the Cruze, when compared to many of its rivals, is longer and wider. By making sure that the exterior trim is used sparingly, it gives it that high-quality atmosphere. Meanwhile by having a tightly draw bodywork, it results in displaying solidity.

Overall, one can say that the appearance is one that shows purposeful precision. This precision is not limited to the appearance but also covers the build quality. Making this possible is the retooling of the body shop at its Lordstown facility.

Now it has the latest both in welding equipment and body-framing equipment. All of these are made in order to optimize how the solid body structure is manufactured. These result in minimal production variance with exterior panels having gap tolerances measured at most 3 mm.

Update: Mr. Tom Mock a.k.a. spokesman for the plant gave us an update to the story! Here is what he said: "After an initial supplier part validation process, it was determined to be sufficient to begin a production restart of the Chevrolet Cruze at Lordstown Complex. As additional part volume arrived and was analyzed, it was determined that additional part testing is necessary before a production restart can occur. GM is committed to ensuring our vehicles meet the quality standards our customers deserve."

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