GM Cuts 1,500 Jobs In Ohio, Will The Chevy Cruze Survive

Lordstown, OH — The GM plant in Lordstown could be nearing the end of the road. The company announced it will stop manufacturing the Chevy Cruze, the only car made there, as early as March 2019.

The news couldn’t come at a worse time less than a month before Christmas And this isn't the first time this has happened. In 2008 the company also announced layoffs right before the holidays. But this community is made of steel. After years of firings, layoffs, buyouts, and a dwindling work force, they're used to a bumpy ride and are still optimistic

"They didn't say they were shuttering the plant permanently, they said they were just ceasing production,” said Lordstown Mayor Arno Hill.

Maybe he was putting on a brave face for his community or perhaps it was the hope that comes with the holidays. But members of the local UAW were not sharing in that holiday spirit.

"It felt like someone kicked me in the stomach," said President Dave Green.

They don't understand why GM is blowing out nearly 1,500 workers from the Lordstown Plant that builds the Chevy Cruze and potentially shutting down the factory for good.

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"I think it's easy to compete. We have a great work force, a great location and the community supports us. We have political support," said Green.

The company says it's restructuring to cut costs and focus more on autonomous and electric vehicles.

And then there's the fact the Cruze hasn't exactly been bringing in the buyers. Sales are down about 50% since its height in 2014, when is sold nearly 274,000 cars.

Dr. Albert Sumell, an economics professor at Youngstown State University says, "The major factor is just a change in consumer preferences from trucks to SUV's."

From a business standpoint this makes sense...until you consider the company made the announcement, right after reporting $2.5 billion dollars in third quarter profits alone and that the impact will go way beyond the GM employees.

"It’s estimated that between 2-3 jobs are dependent on each job at GM Lordstown. So we're looking potentially at 4,800 jobs as a result, if those jobs are lost," says Sumell.

Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, blasted the President and Republicans for the trade battle with China, which has jacked up the costs of Steel and Aluminum raising car costs here, and causing many Chinese to boycott the Cruze.

Referring to the President, "You made promises to U.S. workers. You did well in this area because you promised you’d be different. You didn't lift one finger to help."

Mayor Arno was a bit more forgiving, saying the village prepared for this, setting aside enough money to operate services through next year.

He told us, "We still have a heartbeat and we will get a product down the road."

Late Monday afternoon, President Trump says he put pressure on GM'S CEO, telling them the country's done a lot for them. He was likely referring to the auto industry bailout by taxpayers in 2008. So, he says, he believes they'll do something to protect the plant.

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