A timeline of GM through the years


February — General Motors Corp. buys 965 acres in rural Lordstown with plans to build Chevrolet’s largest car assembly plant


Sept. 29 — Ground is broken


April 28 –The Tribune Chronicle buys first car off new assembly line, a 1966 Chevrolet Impala sport sedan


October — Ground is broken for the Fisher Body Metal Fabricating plant

Nov. 19 — GM announces plans for local $25 million, 650,000-square-foot van plant


January — Production begins in the fabricating plant with Vega stampings. Assembly plant is producing Chevrolet Caprices, Impalas and Bel Airs. Lordstown is considered most modern GM plant and its 6,000 employees are called GM’s best.

February — Production begins in the van plant.

June — $100 million retooling allows assembly plant to produce subcompact Vega

Sept. 15 — United Auto Worker Locals 1112 and 1714 walk out when national labor contract expires

November — Local and national contracts reached


March — Defective Vegas jam plant’s repair lot daily, and workers’ grievances top 15,000. Workers strike for three weeks.


GM phases out the troubled Vega. Total complex employment peaks at 12,000.


Plant retooled for production of Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac 2000 Sunbird.


March — Layoffs of second J-car shift and others in van and body plants idle 6,000 workers.


Jan. 27 — GM recalls J-Car second shift

Oct. 17 — Plant is honored for best quality car among GMAD’s 16 plants for the 1983 model year.


May 24 — The 2 millionth J-Car manufactured in Lordstown.


April 28 — GM to build revamped J-Car in Lordstown through the mid-1990s. Plant employment is about 10,600.

July 2 — J-Car plant will absorb 1,700 van plant workers in 1992 as it switches to a three-crew, seven-day schedule for 1993 Cavalier and Sunbird.


March 20 — The van plant produces last van and workers are shifted to car plant


Lordstown to build 20,000 right-hand drive Cavaliers for export to Japan


August — Lordstown produces redesigned 1995 Cavaliers and Sunfires but the ramp-up is slow and costly.


April 28 — Lordstown plant celebrates 30 years of car making amid labor tensions.


April 9 — (Akron) Beacon-Journal reports suggest Lordstown could be closed

May 31 — Explosion in paint shop kills worker Dennis Schaefer, 52.

June 10 — Automaker plans to double Mexican production; Lordstown future at risk

Oct. 16 — State offers $1 million worker training if Lordstown gets new car

Nov. 13 — Mahoning Valley business and community leaders launch ”Bring It Home!” publicity campaign


Nov. 24 — Assembly plant workers reject local labor agreement, raising concerns for plant’s future

Dec. 17 — Assembly workers ratify local labor pact


GM calls for labor ”shelf agreement” to take effect if plant gets a new car before considering Lordstown for $500 million renovation and new car


Shelf agreement ratified in both locals

May 9 — Trumbull County commissioners approve county’s largest-ever tax abatement — 100 percent, 10-year tax abatement for GM’s $500 million investment. GM to retain 3,600 of 7,400 total workers.

Aug. 22 — UAW halts GM plans to move some assembly work to an outside supplier until GM awards plant the new car


June 13 — Lordstown reduces labor hours to make cars to 24.2 from 27.7 previous year

Aug. 15 — GM will invest $550 million to build next-generation Cavalier here


July 14 — Lordstown Village celebrates $1.3 million in federal funds to build a backup waterline for GM Lordstown and village.

Dec. 18 — GM will consolidate local assembly and metal fabricating operations into one complex to smooth Cobalt production


May 7 — Plant builds its last Pontiac Sunfire small car, number 827,830

Oct. 6 — Chevrolet Cavalier production to end

Oct. 18 — Cobalt assembly to begin


Apr. 5 — GM to eliminate third shift here, affecting 1,450 workers

June 12 — Lordstown begins building Pontiac G5 small car

June 23 — About 1,600 total workers sign up for attrition buyouts

June 30 — Lordstown celebrates its 40th anniversary


Three-day nationwide labor strike. Concessions allow new contract including three new vehicles for Lordstown by 2011.


August — GM will replace Cobalt with Cruze, investing $350 million in plant. Ohio provides an $82 million tax credit and $2 million in grants.

Third shift called back for 1,000 jobs.

November — Less than six months later GM eliminates second and third shifts, lays off 2,000


June 1 — GM files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Lordstown plant reconfigured to build 2011 Cruze


June — Cruze production begins


March — Detroit-area parts plant fire idles local production


August — GM to invest $200 million for retooling


GM recalls record 29.7 million vehicles

February — GM recalls 2.6 million small cars, including cars built in Lordstown, for defective ignition switches, which resulted in a government investigation.

May — GM pledges $50 million to plant


June — Next generation Cruze unveiled

November — UAW Locals 1112 and 1714 join UAW International to ratify new four-year national labor contract


February — New Cruze production begins

April 28 — 50th anniversary of production of the first automobile at the Lordstown plant.

Sept. 21 — Plant electric energy to be supplied by wind farm

Nov. 9 — 1,200 workers face layoff


Feb. 8 — GM pays $12,000 in bonuses for all UAW workers

Sept. 23 — UAW Local 1714 to be absorbed into UAW Local 1112


Feb. 7 — Union workers to receive $11,750 bonuses

April 11 — Dave Green named president of newly merged Local 1112

June 22 — Second shift cut; 1,500 laid off.

Nov. 26 — GM announces plans to “unallocate” five plants corporate-wide, including the Lordstown complex, home of the Chevrolet Cruze, eliminating about 15,000 jobs locally.


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