Car maker GM has announced a $50 million investment in its Lordstown plant, to help make the next generation of its most popular vehicle, the Chevy Cruze. ideastream’s Brian Bull reports:
GM officials say this is on top of $200 million announced in August of 2012. This latest investment is for its metal center and its trim shop, where preliminary components like the windows, seats, and instrument panel are installed.
The news is a welcome bright spot for GM.
It’s still reeling from a disastrous recall campaign involving faulty ignition switches in certain vehicles…and in March, it halted sales of Cruzes with the 1.4 liter turbo engine for axle issues.
Tom Mock, spokesman for GM Lordstown, says to date, 2014 sales are 7 percent ahead of 2013. He didn’t specifically address the recall or frozen Cruz sales, but said there are enhancements coming to the new Cruze.
“(We) really rely on continuous improvement in our build process, and that’s something we look to do with every next generation of vehicle that we build across our company’s portfolio.”
It’s an announcement that can help GM weather recent bad press. Karl Brauer is a senior analyst at Kelly Blue Book.
“The company’s doing really well, but unfortunately they’ve got this situation with the recall going on that’s dredging up a lot of the past where their products weren’t as competitive, and their policies and procedures weren’t as effective in dealing with problems," says Brauer. "And that’s now at the center of this high-profile issue that they’re dealing with.”
In all, GM has invested more than $600 million towards Cruze production at Lordstown.