A new line of small cars coming to the Lordstown General Motors plant will replace the Chevy Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire.
By DAVID SKOLNICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Mahoning Valley Chevrolet and Pontiac dealers say there is a bit of sadness knowing that in two years they will no longer be able to sell new Cavaliers and Sunfires.
But that emotion is nothing compared to their overwhelming excitement and anticipation of being able to sell a new generation of small cars to be built at the Lordstown General Motors Assembly Plant.
"I have confidence that whatever they build out there will be a good vehicle because they have a good work force in Lordstown, and whatever they build will be a good seller," said A.J. Saculla, general sales manager at Greenwood Chevrolet in Austintown.
Sales of the Chevrolet Cavalier and the Pontiac Sunfire at Greenwood "have been tremendous over the years," particularly the Cavalier, Saculla said. The dealer has sold 1,000 Cavaliers so far this year -- making it Greenwood's best-selling car, he said.
"The Cavalier is a fine car, but it's time for a new car," Saculla said. "We will miss the Cavalier. It was a good volume car for us. We'll definitely miss the car, but we have high hopes for the new ones."
Tom Brittain, owner of Brittain Chevrolet-Pontiac in East Palestine, said the two vehicles built at the Lordstown GM plant have been mainstays of his dealership.
"The cars are supported by GM employees and their friends and families," Brittain said. "Whatever they build will maintain that same customer loyalty. GM is dedicated to building quality, and whatever they build at Lordstown will be of high quality."
A best seller
Joe Druzisky, sales manager at Spartan Chevrolet in Boardman, said the Cavalier has a reputation for being "one of the finest little cars on the road."
The vehicle has been a best seller at Spartan for several years, he said.
"The local people who build that car have increased the quality of the vehicle over the past year," Druzisky said. "We normally don't have any problems with the Cavalier. Once it's sold, we don't get them back in here for repairs. If they use the same philosophy and strategy with the new car that will come out, it will also be one of the finest cars around."
Druzisky said he will miss the Cavalier.
"The Cavalier has had a good long useable life, but it's time to get a new model to replace it," he said. "GM had the Lumina and then replaced it with the new Impala, which is a better car. They improved the Monte Carlo. I can see no reason why they wouldn't come out with a car that is superior to the one it's replacing."
Tom Squiric, general sales manager at Martin Chevrolet in Warren, agrees.
"The Cavalier has been a dynamite seller for us," he said. "It's affordable, has a good reputation and low maintenance. It's a good vehicle, but GM will replace it with a better model."