The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze
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GM to build next generation Chevrolet Cruze in Lordstown Ohio

General Motors has announced that they will make a sizeable investment in their Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio to build the next generation of the popular Chevrolet Cruze – a model expected to launch late in 2014 for the 2015 model year.

The Chevrolet Cruze is the latest in a long line of General Motors compact cars built at the Lordstown Assembly Plant in Lordstown Ohio so it comes as no huge surprise that the company plans to build the next generation Cruze at this site in eastern Ohio. However, with the fact that the Chevrolet Cruze is a global vehicle (other names include the Holden Cruze and the Daewoo Lacetti) with assembly locations all over the world – there is always that chance that the company could opt to import vehicles. Luckily, GM knows better than to make a move like that at this point in time so the biggest of the Big 3 will continue building one of their bestselling cars in the good ol’ USA.

General Motors hasn’t offered any official information as to when the next generation Chevrolet Cruze will arrive but the common belief is that the next generation of the company sedan will arrive later in 2014 for the 2015 model year. The only information from GM about what is coming for the next generation Chevrolet Cruze is that it will feature new interior and exterior styling, more interior space and better fuel economy.

The current iteration of the Cruze was introduced in mid 2010 as a 2011 model year vehicle and it is expected to run through the 2014 model year. General Motors invested some $350 million in Lordstown Assembly to prepare the plant for Cruze production after that same site had built top selling models including the Chevrolet Cobalt and the Cavalier before it. The tooling and other upgrades needed at Lordstown Assembly to build the next generation Chevrolet Cruze will reportedly cost General Motors around $220 million.

Unlike both of those compact cars that were offered in a variety of forms including a sedan, a coupe and a convertible – the Chevrolet Cruze has only been offered in the US in sedan form. The current Cruze is only offered as a sedan and a wagon in other markets which has caused constant speculation that the 5-door model could arrive in the US with the next generation Cruze. There are also a great many American buyers who would love a new version of the Cruze to replace their tried and true Cobalt and Cavalier coupes so prospective buyers also have their fingers crossed that a low cost, 2-door model will arrive in 2015 or shortly after.

As mentioned above, before building the Chevrolet Cruze, Lordstown Assembly built the Chevrolet Cobalt alongside the Pontiac G5 after previously building the Chevrolet Cavalier and the Pontiac Sunfire that were effectively replaced by the G5 and Cobalt. Before those compact models, Lordstown built the Buick Skylark/Oldsmobile Starfire alongside the Chevy Monza/Pontiac Sunbird and the Chevy Vega in the 1970s. In the late 1960s, Lordstown built over 220,000 examples of the first generation Pontiac Firebird. On top of those passenger cars, Lordstown Assembly also built full size Chevrolet and GMC vans from the early 70s through the mid 1990s. Lordstown opened in 1966, building models including the Chevrolet Caprice, the Bel Air and the Impala.

Source: Automotive News

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