GM prepares to ‘Cruze’ next generation

LORDSTOWN -The next generation of the much anticipated locally-built Chevrolet Cruze is set to be unveiled June 24.

General Motors plans to debut the all-new design of its best-selling small car in Detroit. Although crews have been working on the prototype, the company has remained mum about the specifics.

“I believe people will be completely satisfied and excited about this next generation Cruze,” said Glenn Johnson, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112. The union represents some of the employees who will be building the vehicle at the General Motors Assembly Plant in Lordstown.

Johnson plans to be in Detroit when the 2016 Cruze is officially introduced. Another local union leader, Robert Morales, president of Auto Workers Local 1714, also plans to be there. Morales said consumers can count on an “all-new design” they will appreciate. Workers represented by his local will also be involved in manufacturing the new Cruze.

“It’s an exciting time. Work has been good and we’re looking forward to what’s ahead at Lordstown,” Morales said.

More than 1.25 million units of the the Cruze have been manufactured since its launch in September 2012.

Diane Sauer of Diane Sauer Chevrolet in Warren previously said customers have been expressing an interest in the new Cruze for sometime.

“I think people are waiting for it. The Cruze has had a lot of positive response and I think this is something people are waiting for,” she said.

GM previously committed more than $250 million to retool and ready its plant in Lordstown for the Cruze’s next generation.

Johnson and Morales said they believe the “next gen” will be good for the Mahoning Valley.

Recently re-elected to their posts, both union leaders are preparing for local and national contract talks. UAW’s contract with General Motors expires in September.

“I really believe the enthusiasm and excitement people have for the Cruze with continue with the next generation,” Johnson said. “I believe it will do a lot for this area. We have good things to look forward to.”