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Lordstown's Cruze — Star of the show

Published: Wed, March 3, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.



Northeast Ohio residents flock to the Cruze display,

  Cruze At The Cleveland Auto Show

The Chevrolet Cruze creates quite a buzz at the Cleveland Auto show.

The Chevrolet Cruze creates quite a buzz at the Cleveland Auto show.


Gary Adams, President of the Cleveland Auto Show, says the Chevrolet Cruze is the buzz of the show.


One look at the Chevrolet Cruze had Tom Kaiser thinking about trading in one of his three Corvettes to buy the new compact car.

“I’d take this one home right now,” the 56-year-old Wadsworth, Ohio, resident said he studied the red Cruze on display at the Cleveland Auto Show.

Kaiser, who taught automotive maintenance to high school students for 20 years, called it an upscale design, saying that the body lines in back reminded him of a BMW. Attention to detail shows in the heavy weather stripping in the trunk and the lining that covers all the bare metal in the trunk and under the trunk lid, he said.

Many people like Kaiser are eager to get their first glimpse of the car that will be launched this summer from the Lordstown car complex.

“I’ve not heard a buzz about a car like this in a long time,” said Gary Adams, president of the show at the I-X Center.

People are aware of the recent struggles of General Motors and are eager to see if an Ohio-made car can lead a rebound, he said.

“Everybody in the region feels like they have a personal attachment to this vehicle, and I haven’t seen that before,” Adams said.

That was certainly the case for Nancy Pana, 53, of Brecksville, who looked the car over carefully with her son Jordan, 19.

“It’s built here in Ohio. That means a lot to us,” she said.

Jordan Pana has been suggesting that his 25-year-old brother buy a Cruze when the lease on his Pontiac G6 expires this summer.

And that was before he saw the car. Once he saw it up close, he was more persuaded than ever.

He pointed out the design of the interior, chrome door handles and back-up sensors that alert a driver if something is behind the car.

“This is something you wouldn’t expect in this price range,” Jordan Pana said.

Pricing of the car hasn’t been announced, although a Chevrolet official said it will be priced to compete with the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

Bill Patton was eager to see the Cruze because he retired from Lordstown in 2003 after working in hourly and salaried positions.

The 69-year-old Canfield resident said the styling of the Cruze is an upgrade over the Chevrolet Cobalt now made in Lordstown and its predecessor, the Cavalier. He added that the Cruze has a larger interior and new features have been added, such as fold-down back seats and the back-up sensor.

“I think it’s going to be a good-seller. It looks sporty,” he said.

Frank Magalski, 69, of Columbus said he was eager to see the Cruze because of the media attention it has received. He said he liked the looks but added that “you can’t tell until you sit down and drive it.”

No one is allowed to sit in the car at the show. The car is on a rotating pedestal, but an attendant will open the doors and trunk.

Seeing the car was enough to get Bill Rutherford Jr. thinking. The 38-year-old Norwalk resident noted that he has two children.

“It’s not too small and not too big. That would be a perfect fit for me,” he said.

He became more interested when he heard the two Cruze models will have a 1.4-liter, turbocharged engine.

“The smaller engine means it’s going to get good gas mileage, and with a turbo, you will get a nice kick,” he said.

GM officials have said that a high-efficiency model of the Cruze will get 40 mpg on the highway with an automatic transmission.

Rutherford’s father, Bill Sr., drives a Cobalt and thought the Cruze’s body styling and design of the instrument panel looked like an upgrade.

“Absolutely, I’d buy it,” he said.


1UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Built by the best automakers in the world - the UAW at Lordstown!!!

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2rjohnbro(9 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

The cruze at lordstown is a good move. I would only hope they focus on quality, and not get side tracked for numbers again, donahoe and his chassis click do not need to over ride quality, and when things are not right and blame the employee. Three shifs shows clearly numbers are the game and poor management. Get it right the first time or you fail , this is par for the build at lordstown. Chassis superintendent says ship it!!! I say send this employee to Toyota.

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3GetReal1006(9 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Sign of the end times: "UnionForever" posting a positive comment. Will wonders ever cease?

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4Garrison45183(8 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

"Built by the best automakers in the world - the UAW at Lordstown!!!" Cars are built by people not unions. This car would retain the same quality if the workers were non-union. There isn't any special assembly line training for the workers because the union exists. The quality of the car is not directed related to the union. Now, the overall production numbers could be impacted by the union, but not the quality. Businesses don't relocated to the Valley because of the unions. I know this first hand from experience while working at a local company. Unions had there time and place in history and I applaud the laws that were developed through their lobbying. Unions don't really protect or provide any real service for its employees other than shield them from dismissal which in most cases is the employees fault to begin with. The Cruze is a great car, but the union will not be the reason for its success (too early to tell). Design, engineering, and marketing will be the reasons why people purchase the Cruze.

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5watchingthepolitics(100 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

What planet did you come from? It's the Union that DEMANDS and checks the quality of these vehicles. They know if they don't it could be the loss of their jobs. Business doesn't relocate to the Valley because of Unions because they don't want to pay their employees a DECENT wage.If QUALITY isn't coming off the end of that assembly line the employees call a Union rep. because Management is more concerned with numbers ASK ANYONE WHO WORKS FOR TOYOTA.

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