Strong Lordstown-built Cruze sales no impact on GM summer shut down

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Despite car sales dropping across the board last month by 4.7 percent, April sales of the Lordstown-built Chevy Cruze were way up. So why is the Lordstown plant shutting down for a month later this summer?

Greenwood Chevrolet in Austintown routinely sells more Chevy Cruze’s than other dealership around Youngstown.

“89 percent, year over year, April to April,” said Greg Greenwood. “And we’re riding about a 50 percent wave in the store year to date.”

Cruze sales throughout North America in April were over 21,000 cars — up 50 percent from last April. Year-to-date sales are over 75,000 — up 46 percent. The Cruze is GM’s third best selling vehicle behind the Silverado pick up and Chevy Equinox.

But despite strong Cruze sales, the GM Lordstown plant is being shut down for a month this summer from mid-June to mid-July.

United Auto Workers Local 11-12 President Glenn Johnson says sales and the shutdown have nothing to do with each other.

“No, they don’t,” he said. “No…the shutdown has been planned for a while.”

He also said you can’t compare this April with last April, because the redesigned Cruze was just being launched and there were supplier problems.

“It’s really not a fair apples-to-apples comparison,” Johnson said. “Simply because during the start up and ramp up of the Cruze last year, we didn’t have quite as many cars in the market place.”

Back in Austintown, Greenwood credits his increased Cruze sales to a couple things.

“GM has targeted it with very strong incentives, because they know it’s a really core important product,” he said. “So they haven’t forgotten about it. They’ve given us some great availability — to sell a lot of Chevrolet’s you have to have a ton of them on the shelf.”

Another thing to remember when looking at Cruze sales figures is that the hatchback Cruze is included in those numbers, but the hatchback is not made in Lordstown.