GM cancels shutdown week at Lordstown site in Ohio

Article by Anita Panait, on August 16, 2013

General Motors has added a week of production at its Chevrolet Cruze site in Lordstown, Ohio, this month to cater to increasing demand for the compact car in the United States, GM spokesman Annalisa Bluhm revealed. The site was originally set for a shutdown on the Aug. 26, UAW Local 1112 said on its Web site, is now scheduled to build cars "as normal" that week.

Bluhm remarked that sales for the Cruze have been brisk, and GM doesn’t want to lose momentum, leading it to decide to “abstain from taking the week off."

GM posted a 70-percent surge in sales of the Cruze in the US to 25,447 vehicles in July 2013, according to the Automotive News Data Center. GM likewise logged a 24-percent hike in sales of the Cruze in the US in the first seven months of 2013, compared to the carmaker’s overall sales increase in the same period.

But the Cruze’s seven-month gain is not the highest among top-selling compacts in the United States, since the Hyundai Elantra managed to post a bigger gain at 29 percent. Carmakers recorded a 10-percent jump in sales of compact cars in the US in the first seven months of 2013 to 1.32 million units, outgrowing the 8 percent-gain by the US auto industry.

GM executives disclosed earlier this month that Cruze stock was at a 50-day supply by the end of July, compared to its entire lineup’s 68-day supply. GM launched the Cruze in 2009, the year when it emerged from bankruptcy protection. GM has been building the current generation Cruze at Lordstown since September 2010.

The Chevy Cruze has a design that is characterized by a bold face, which includes a 2-tier grille with the brand’s iconic Bowtie logo. This is Chevrolet's signature look globally. This design also features an arching roofline connecting a steeply raked windshield with fast-sloping rear pillars, thus giving the car an athletic and coupe-like proportion.

Moreover, the Cruze’s sporty aesthetic is evident in its short rear deck, which is typical of sports coupes, as well as in its prominent headlamp housings, which wrap around its corners then sweep upward towards its fenders and its sculpted hood. Additionally, its wheels are also found at the corners, with minimal overhangs at the front and rear. All of these elements cohesively work together to lend an aggressive look to the car, complemented by a wide and confident stance.

Compared to a majority of its competitors, the Chevy Cruze is longer and wider. It also has a taut and tightly drawn bodywork that communicates solidity, as well as a high-quality feel, enhanced by the restrained application of exterior trim. The car’s overall appearance conveys purposeful precision.

You can also see this precision in the quality of the Chevrolet Cruze's build. The carmaker’s assembly plant in Lordstown has retooled its body shop with the latest in welding and body-framing equipment in order to optimize the production of solid body structure for its cars. This strong structure promotes minimal production variance as well as repeatable gap tolerances of only up to 3 mm between the most exterior panels. In short, this means a better looking new car that only feels more solid as time goes by.

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