It’s strange to think just five years ago Chevrolet sold over a quarter-of-million Cruze compacts.—273,060 to be exact. The compact Chevy, first introduced to the U.S. market in late 2010 as a 2011 model, grew year-over-year in sales until 2015, when it saw its first decline in over the previous record high. Since 2015, sales have continued to fall, a trend that’s plagued other cars not only in GM’s lineup but across the industry. In 2017, sales were down 130,000 from 2014. That’s a substantial decrease; however, the automaker was still able to sell 142,617 last year. But that wasn’t enough to justify continuing Cruze production, which GM ceased producing earlier this week at its Lordstown factory. Chevy sold 1.7 million throughout the Curze’s lifetime.
The last Chevrolet Cruze to stroll down the assembly line rolled out of the factory this week. It’s a nondescript white Cruze likely headed for a rental fleet somewhere. It’s a sad day for yet another Delta II platform vehicle. Last month, General Motors ceased production on the Chevrolet Volt.
Thanks to the Twitter page of Columbus Dispatch Public Affairs Editor Darrel Rowland, we have a look at the last American-branded compact sedan that’s built in the USA. An anonymous gray, comforted with the embrace of Old Glory. We’re not sure what the rest of the build out entails at the time of this writing. And unlike the last Chevrolet Volt, which is heading to a state of preservation at the GM Heritage Center, we’re not sure where the last Chevrolet Cruze is heading.
General Motors has built the Cruze at its Lordstown factory in Ohio in the U.S.—and at several other plants around the world. With the Cruze now gone, the factory is shutting down. Some parts-stamping operations will continue, producing fenders and other repair parts. However, once that’s complete later this month, there will be no more production at the factory from GM. Granted, the automaker will keep the factory in a “state of readiness” as the automaker negotiates the future of the plant later this year during its task with the UAW.
American branded compact cars have had trouble selling, but they’ve played a vital role in providing transportation for millions of people. A compact car is often affordable, fuel-efficient, and a stepping stone in one’s journey from novice teenage driver to having to haul a family. Seeing the last Chevrolet Cruze rolling off the line is upsetting, but there isn’t enough justification to keep the vehicle around.