General Motors will invest another $50 million to upgrade its Lordstown, Ohio plant, which produces the Chevrolet Cruze, in preparation for the next-generation model. This comes after a previous announcement of a $220 million investment for this model, and some construction has already begun on the new flexible trim shop and upgraded press room at the Lordstown complex, which has manufactured the Chevrolet Cruze since the car launched in 2010.
We don’t yet know when the Lordstown plant will begin production for the redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Cruze, but we did just spy an undisguised prototype running around that revealed the compact sedan’s new styling. It wears a prominent Chevrolet nose matching that of the brand’s Malibu and Impala models, while sweeping character lines along the sides give it a similar silhouette to competitors like the Honda Civic.
A refreshed 2015 version of the Chevrolet Cruze recently debuted at the New York auto show with some slight exterior tweaks and the addition of 4G internet connectivity. Since this 2015 model will go on sale this fall, we would expect Lordstown to begin ramping up for production for the 2016 Cruze sometime in 2015.
In the meantime, Chevrolet is celebrating the one millionth Chevrolet Cruze to be produced at Lordstown. This red 2014 Cruze LT was bought by the UAW chapters in Lordstown and will be raffled off to a Lordstown employee, with proceeds going to charity. The Lordstown plant, which opened in 1966, has produced more than 15 million vehicles over its history, including models like the Chevrolet Bel Air, the Pontiac Firebird, the Chevrolet Cavalier, and the Chevrolet Cobalt.