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Cruze into new era



Published: Thu, September 9, 2010 @ 12:01 a.m.

Related: Obama in Ohio: Stay the course of ’08

By GRACE WYLER

gwyler@vindy.com

  Chevy Cruze launch

  The CRUZE is Launched

It was a moment for celebration at the Lordstown General Motors Complex here Wednesday, when the company kicked off official production of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze

It was a moment for celebration at the Lordstown General Motors Complex here Wednesday, when the company kicked off official production of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze

LORDSTOWN

It was a moment for celebration at the Lordstown General Motors Complex here, when the company kicked off official production of the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze.

Accompanied by cheerleaders and the Boardman High School marching band, Mark Reuss, GM’s North America president, and Gov. Ted Strickland led a red, white and blue caravan of the first Cruze cars into the festivities. They rode in the first Cruze.

The pair then presented the Chevy All-Stars, a group of 18 local Chevy dealers, with the first Cruze key.

“I learned a long, long time ago that you can never count out the Mahoning Valley,” Strickland said Wednesday. “The only thing stronger than Valley steel are Valley people.”

Rousing the crowd of about 500 Lordstown employees, retirees and other community members, Strickland addressed critics of American manufacturing.

“I have four words for them: Look at this car!” he said. “This is a brand-new car made to redefine what carmakers are capable of.”

Strickland and other elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Avon, and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, pointed to the Cruze as evidence of a resurgence in Ohio manufacturing, praising Strickland for his staunch support of the federal government’s bailout of GM last year.

“It is always the auto industry that pulls the country out of the recession,” Brown said. “Every time someone buys a Cruze it means jobs for the Mahoning Valley, jobs for northern Ohio.”

“We announce to the world today that the Mahoning Valley is back,” Ryan said. “We are going to keep making things.”

Strickland and Brown later joined President Barack Obama for his speech on the economy at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma.

The president did not mention Lordstown or the Cruze launch in his remarks, which focused on infrastructure investments and the extension of tax credits for research and development.

Reuss heralded the Cruze launch as a turning point for the company, the Valley and the American economy.

“I can’t shake the feeling that the rebirth of the American economy starts right here in Lordstown,” he said. “This Cruze is the key to our future, and the effects will reverberate through the company, the country and the economy.”

The Cruze is the “finest compact car GM has ever done, period,” Reuss said.

GM, which has historically trailed foreign competitors like Honda and Toyota in the small-car segment, is counting on the Cruze to gain a larger share of the competitive compact market.

“The car is proving to be everything we hoped it would be,” Reuss said, pointing to the Cruze’s strong sales overseas as an indicator of the car’s success.

The Cruze is “the best car in the world,” added Jim Graham, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112.

“We will take on anything the Asian market can throw at us, and we will beat them,” Graham added.

Graham and UAW Local 1714 President David Green thanked the plant’s workers, GM and the Valley community for throwing their support behind the plant and the Cruze.

“You guys are going to be proud when we roll out this car,” Green said. “We are going to make you proud you supported us.”

As a further show of the community’s support, Lordstown Mayor Michael Chaffee announced that the stretch of Hallock-Young Road that runs in front of the plant’s East Complex would be renamed the Chevrolet-UAW Parkway.

“For all of the doubters who said that GM wasn’t worth saving come to Lordstown and see what an American worker can produce,” Chaffee said.


Comments

1OldCoot(8 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I have looked at the car. Looks like a slug, just like the Jap Junk.

I would still rather have a 40 year old Dodge Charger RT.

The Old Coot

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2timOthy(802 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Wish you luck U.A.W.! Though I'm a Union Carpenter I'm undecided if I want to support a group of people that only supports themselves! Yes their are spin off jobs mostly in the Non-Union sector! Our people do change the line for G.M.But that's for G.M.How many of these Autoworkers have Union Trades come to home and fix the roof or something else? How many live in a Union made home? But you want this Union Carpenter to buy YOUR product ? Don't think so! I'll buy a Ford because I know most of them think about their Sisters and brothers and hire when necessary at home and new construction! Lets not get into the steel,plastic or other things in your Rat Car! And I don't like banking your Pension that you should have lost period like Delphi!

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3Fattkidd(45 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I support GM, the UAW and even Tim's local Carpenter Union and hope more and more Americans start to do the same. With only 7% of the private sector now belonging to a trade union, it's no wonder wages are down and imports, and thus our trade deficit, continue to increase. IF you believe in free-markets, at all, then you have to believe in a free and open labor market where people are free to organize for better working conditions everywhere. Pass the Employee Free Choice Act NOW and let's take this country back from the banksters on Wall St. and those who would do business with the Commies and set up shop in Commie China, and expect to sell that crap back here in the Good Ol' USofA!!!

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4Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Delphi is the one who moved overseas .It was the salary and management who pushed this .
BUY GM support our Community and neighbors. Do not listen to the sour grapes of some . Their only looking the bring down others instead of joining to help.

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5HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Most of the Cruze engineering was performed outside the US at GM Daewoo. The wiring is all outside the US. A Honda accord is more American than the Cruze. The Lordstown people don't care what you buy as long as you buy UAW. The fake "buy American" theme is a scam.

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6iBuck(208 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Packard. Now that was a sweet ride, with features ahead of its time. An engineer friend restores cars, and had one of them.

Where can one confirm specific foreign made parts in "US" cars? How do you document it to be able to spread the word more effectively?

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7Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

FAE BS

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8timOthy(802 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Fattkid, I'm glad you think of the Trades and all Americans! One point we the Carpenters don't get to vote for our Bussiness Agent. Were still under receivership with the International out of D.C. It has some thing to do with our night shift tactics. Which is going to start again if this country don't straighten up.Then you'll have the real terrorist to fight. That's how they appeased us and we organized over 100years ago. Isn't that right Brick Layers, and Laborers ? Which we are the original three who built this Beautiful Country !

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