Lordstown-built diesel to be unveiled today

LORDSTOWN – General Motors officials this morning will unveil one of the first locally produced 2014 Chevy Cruze clean Turbo Diesel models as they prepare to begin shipping the new models to dealer showrooms.

Lordstown assembly plant spokesman Tom Mock said the car will be showcased to media at the plant this morning. The new clean diesel design first was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in February and was set to begin hitting showrooms by May, company officials said.

The car is being assembled in Lordstown with a German-made diesel engine. The long-anticipated new diesel car is expected to be marketed with a focus on torque, quick acceleration and excellent highway fuel mileage, estimated at around 42 mpg for an automatic transmission.

The car is expected to be introduced in limited markets initially, but likely move to all markets nationwide in June.

Meanwhile, work toward retooling areas of the Lordstown plant for manufacture of the next generation Chevy Cruze small car is underway but moving slowly.

Mock noted the preparation work for the scheduled $200 million retooling project inside the plant is in the works, but acknowledged there have been some modifications to the schedule.

“We are doing work here in preparation, not only for the diesel, but our next generation Cruze that we are moving forward with,” Mock said. “There have been some modifications to our schedule, and that happens.”

Mock’s comments came after an official with the Western Reserve Building Trades said laborers preparing to work on the project have been advised the project was being temporarily delayed.

Don Crane, president of the Western Reserve Building Trades said this week he hopes skilled trades will be working on the retooling project inside the plant by mid to late summer.

Mock pointed out that in announcing the project last August, Chevrolet did not release a timeline for the project or the planned release of the next-generation Cruze.