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General Motors has been talking about bringing a new small-car line to Lordstown for years. An



Published: Thu, August 15, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



General Motors has been talking about bringing a new small-car line to Lordstown for years. An outline of the developments leading to this week's announcement:

1997: GM begins talking to UAW Local 1112 officials about implementing a two-tiered wage structure to bring a new small-car model to the Lordstown Assembly Plant.

December 1997: Al Alli, Local 1112's point man in the negotiations, dies, but talks continue with union leaders.

January 1999: Mark Hogan, GM vice president for small car operations, says GM wants to start construction of a smaller plant in Lordstown by April. The current plant was to be knocked down. Called Project Yellowstone, the proposal called for modular assembly in which nearby suppliers would make large sections of the car.

February 1999: UAW officials in Detroit suspend contract negotiations in Lordstown. UAW officials are concerned about bringing modular assembly and a two-tiered wage structure to the plant.

March 1999: UAW officials in Detroit blast Project Yellowstone proposal and modular assembly, saying it will cost the union jobs.

May 1999: GM drops Project Yellowstone and says it is reviewing other manufacturing options.

June 1999: GM, which had hoped to replace the Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire by 2002, extends the life of the cars until at least 2004.

March 2000: GM names a task force to study remodeling the Lordstown plant, saying it would be less costly than building a new plant.

September 2000: GM and UAW Local 1112 begin negotiations on a labor agreement that would take effect if a plant remodeling and new car are approved.

January 2001: Gov. Bob Taft offers tax credits as part of a financial incentive package for GM.

January 2001: Local 1112 approves labor agreement for remodeled plant that changes some work rules, including combining some skilled trades classifications.

April 2001: Lordstown Board of Education approves tax abatement for plant remodeling.

June 2001: Two Michigan companies receive tax abatements to set up operations in the area to take over motor and tire work previously done in the assembly plant.

August 2001: UAW Local 1714 approves a labor contract that calls for work rule changes at the GM fabrication plant. GM said it would spend $230 million to upgrade that plant if the contract passed and the assembly plant renovation goes forward.

September 2001: Robert Lutz, former Chrysler vice president, joins GM as chairman of GM North America. Plans to remodel Lordstown are delayed as he orders a closer look at the small-car models that are to be built there.

October 2001: Under pressure from the UAW, GM agrees to keep motor and tire work inside the assembly plant instead of outsourcing it to suppliers.

February 2002: GM assigns engineering experts from Detroit to the Lordstown plant, which Local 1112 officials say is a sign that remodeling is coming.

March 2002: GM and UAW Local 1112 reach an agreement on engineering specifications and other issues related to the new car.

June 2002: Lori Queen, GM's vehicle line executive for small cars, says a decision on the small car should be released by the end of the summer.

August 2002: GM announces it will invest more than $500 million to bring its new small car line to Lordstown's assembly and fabricating plants.

Source: General Motors, Vindicator files




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