An intriguing twist to the Lordstown plant’s story has emerged. According to a report from The Vindicator, GM may have shot down a proposal to keep the Lordstown plant open for at least another five years with two shifts running.
According to the information, businessman and car dealership owner Bernie Moreno, based in Cleveland, Ohio, presented a plan to purchase thousands of Chevrolet Cruze models per year from GM. The goal was to start a private ride-sharing business of sorts with strict oversight from Moreno’s company. The Cruzes would have made up the fleet of cars. The only catch as part of the deal was that Moreno wanted them sourced from the Lordstown plant in Ohio. GM also builds the sedan and hatchback in Mexico.
According to sources, the deal was not enough to sway GM’s decision to idle the plant this month.
UAW local 1112 president David Green confirmed he met with Moreno and viewed a presentation about the possible deal. Reportedly, the financials were set up and GM was the last piece of the puzzle. It appears GM wasn’t willing and Moreno told The Vindicator he had signed a non-disclosure agreement and could not speak about the rumored proposal. Crucially, it would have kept the Lordstown plant open for the foreseeable future.
A GM spokesperson did not dismiss the rumor but said, “The decision to discontinue the Cruze was made in response to market-related declines in customer demand for passenger cars. We don’t believe this segment is viable for us.”
Indeed, GM has practically culled every sedan it sells, save for the Chevrolet Malibu. The CT6 and Impala will remain in production awhile longer. When the two do exit production, Cadillac will lead GM in sedans.