At a press conference in Lordstown, OH this afternoon, GM CEO Rick Wagoner officially announced that the Chevrolet Cruze would be built at the plant alongside the existing Cobalt. Wagoner alluded to this in June during the company's annual meeting. GM will invest $350 million in the Lordstown plant to tool up for production of the new compact sedan that will also spawn numerous other small cars. An additional $150 million will also be spent launching the Cruze including a new line to build the 1.4L turbo four cylinder engine in Flint MI. Cruzes will also be built in Europe and Asia for sale in those regions. It's expected that the Cruze with the new engine and 6-speed automatic transmission could achieve as much as 40 mpg on the highway.
Related GalleryParis 2008: Chevrolet Cruze
[Source: General Motors]
GM Announces $500 Million Investment for New Small CarNew Chevrolet Cruze to be built in Lordstown, Ohio
Lordstown, OHIO – General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Wagoner today announced that the company will invest more than $500 million in the U.S. to build the Chevrolet Cruze, an all-new global compact car. The vehicle will be built at its Lordstown, Ohio plant. The Chevy Cruze will be officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in a few short weeks. In a surprise move, the investment announcement was accompanied by a glimpse of the Cruze life-size show property.
The investment in Lordstown is one of several that have been announced at U.S. plants in the past five years, adding up to over $2 billion total investment in Ohio and more than $20 billion in the United States. "One of the key reasons for the success of the Chevrolet Cobalt and Pontiac G5 is the Lordstown workforce and the strong partnerships with the UAW and local and state officials," Wagoner said. "Based on the quality of work and these strong partnerships, we are pleased to announce our plans to invest another $500 million in the Chevy Cruze product program in the U.S., including more than $350 million in Lordstown."
Ed Peper, GMNA vice president of Chevrolet, spoke to GM's strong position in delivering fuel-efficient vehicles that consumers want to buy. "The Cruze will build on the already successful Chevrolet Cobalt, Cobalt XFE and Cobalt SS, all of which are nearly sold out in dealer showrooms," Peper said. "Our dealers are asking for many more Cobalts than we can build."
Chevrolet Cobalt sales are up 16 percent, year-to-date through July 2008, with an impressive 33 miles-per-gallonhighway. The new Cobalt XFE model jumps to 37 miles-per-gallon and is selling almost as soon as it's unloaded from the delivery trucks to dealerships.
The Chevrolet Cruze epitomizes the global nature of the automobile industry and General Motors' commitment to deliver fuel efficient, high-quality products. Cruze is the result of a development process harnessing GM's global design and engineering expertise. It is the first of a new family of compact Chevrolets that will continue the attention to quality, fuel efficiency, and strong value promise of the highly successful Malibu and all other vehicles under the Chevrolet brand.
"The Chevrolet Cruze was designed and engineered by our global teams in Europe and Asia Pacific and will be manufactured in those regions in addition to the assembly plant here in Lordstown, Ohio," Wagoner said. "Our goal for the Chevrolet Cruze is to lead in fuel economy in this very competitive car segment."
The new Cruze will be launched in Europe and Asia Pacific next year. It's scheduled to make its European debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.
General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest automaker, has been the annual global industry sales leader for 77 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 266,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 35 countries. In 2007, nearly 9.37 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.