General Motors Co. is planning to produce the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze small car at its Coahuila site in Mexico. GM will make a $350-million investment in the project. The carmaker will still produce the Cruze at its Lordstown site in Ohio. So far, GM has identified only three site globally that will manufacture the next-generation Cruze, including in China.
A spokesman for the carmaker in the United States remarked that its Gunsan site in South Korea will continue to produce the current Cruze model to cater to demand in local and export markets. As part of a new wage agreement signed last summer, GM would build the next-generation Cruze in South Korea starting in 2017, according to a proposal seen by Reuters.
Carmakers are flocking to Mexico to take advantage of its low labor costs and access to the US market. For instance, Toyota is finalizing plans for its first passenger car assembly plant in the country while Volkswagen recently disclosed plans to invest $1 billion in its Puebla plant.
Once the plan materializes, it would be the first time the Cruze will be produce in Mexico, mainly for the domestic market. A GM spokeswoman in Mexico said the Cruze is currently imported to the country from South Korea. The US carmaker had been at odds with its workforce in South Korea.
In April 2013, then GM chief executive Dan Akerson angered union workers in the country after warning that the carmaker might shift operations from South Korea in the longer term. Union activists in South Korea had threatened "a war" if production was shifted from factories in the country.