The Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant has quickly become a vulnerable facility. The plant produces just one vehicle, the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze sedan, and General Motors has moved the plant from three shifts to just one in the last couple of years.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) has pressed the automaker for explanations on why the Lordstown plant is underutilized, and local ABC news affiliate WYTV reported on Tuesday that Senator Brown and GM CEO Mary Barra recently spoke about the plant’s situation. Barra would not ensure the plant’s future, according to the report.
Brown also asked Barra why the Lordstown plant wasn’t considered to build the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer, which will instead be built in Mexico. Barra reportedly answered it would be “too expensive” to retool the plant for Blazer production. Lordstown builds the Cruze, which rides on GM’s D2XX platform. The Blazer will share the C1XX platform with the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5. The Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave ride on extended versions of the platform. Each of the crossover SUVs is built in the U.S.
The Ohio senator has reportedly spoken to President Trump about the situation and pressed the president for assistance.