Lordstown Assembly

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The Lordstown Complex is a General Motors automobile factory in Lordstown, Ohio, comprising three facilities: Vehicle Assembly, Metal Center, and Paint Shop. The plant opened in 1966. Lordstown currently builds the global Chevrolet Cruze compact car.

In 2006, as part of GM scaling back production nationwide, the third shift at the Lordstown plant ceased operations. An employee buyout and early retirements eliminated the need for layoffs. In the summer of 2008, when gas prices soared, the third shift returned in August due to increased demand of the Chevrolet Cobalt, resulting in the creation of nearly 1,000 jobs. Shortly thereafter, General Motors entered into bankruptcy, and two shifts were cut.

In 2010, in preparation to build the new compact Chevrolet Cruze, all members laid off from the plant returned to work. Numerous workers from shuttered GM plants in the US were moved to Lordstown for the open positions. The plant is currently operating on a Two-shift schedule with approximately 3,500 employees.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, both Hillary Clinton and John McCain made stops at Lordstown. Shortly after election Barack Obama visited Lordstown to celebrate new product announcements and to proclaim success for the auto industry rescue.

On April 13, 2018, GM announced that the 2nd shift would be cut, eliminating up to 1,500 jobs. The cuts were related to declining sales of the Cruze (and compact cars in general) in favor of SUVs and crossovers, including GM's own GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox, both of which are loosely related to the Cruze and get similar gas mileage numbers as the Cruze. To comply with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988, the layoffs will take effect June 18, 2018. Negotiations between GM and the United Auto Workers in 2019 could decide the fate of Lordstown Assembly, whether it be a new product at the plant such as the aforementioned crossovers or shutting down the plant altogether.[1][2] It is possible that the job losses could be offset if TJX Companies goes through with its plans to build a distribution center in Lordstown.[3] On November 26, 2018, GM announced that the plant would be unallocated in 2019.[4]

Vehicles produced[edit]

Model years Product Numbers produced
1966–1970 Chevrolet Caprice, Impala, Bel Air, Biscayne 453,086
1967–1969 Pontiac Firebird 220,230
1971–1977 Chevrolet Vega 1,966,157
(note:includes additional '73-'74 GM of Canada production)
1971–1994 Chevrolet Van 1,948,468
1971–1994 GMC Vandura 423,547
1975–1977 Pontiac Astre 132,046
1977–1980 Chevrolet Monza/Pontiac Sunbird 893,734
1978–1979 Buick Skyhawk/Oldsmobile Starfire 101,907
1982–1994 Chevrolet Cavalier/Pontiac J2000/Sunbird 3,744,631
1995–1997 Chevrolet Cavalier/Pontiac Sunfire 843,741
Total through 1997 10,727,547
1998–2005 Chevrolet Cavalier/Pontiac Sunfire
2005–2010 Chevrolet Cobalt
2005–2009 Pontiac Pursuit/G4/G5
2011–present Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Assembly (pre-General Motors Assembly Division circa 1965)[edit]

Plants operated under Chevrolet Assembly management prior to General Motors Assembly Division management (most established pre-1945). Additional Chevrolet Assembly plants were located at Buffalo, New York and Oakland, California. Framingham, Massachusetts is unusual in that it changed from Buick-Oldsmobile-Pontiac Assembly management to Chevy management prior to becoming GMAD.

The terminology is confusing because most plants assembled more than just Chevrolet or B-O-P, and refers to the management structure only. The five brands originated vehicles from their respective "home" plants, where vehicles were assembled locally for their respective regions. Vehicles were also produced in "knock-down" kits and sent to the branch assembly locations. The "home" branches were Flint, Michigan for both Buick and Chevrolet; Oldsmobile at Lansing, Michigan; Pontiac at Pontiac, Michigan; and Cadillac at Detroit, Michigan.[5]

Lordstown Strike of 1972[edit]

This assembly plant was the place of the notorious Lordstown Strike of 1972, a strike against management at the GM plant. The strike resulted in many defective Chevys coming off the line with torn upholstery and other defects. The strike lasted a total of 22 days and cost GM $150 million. Later strikers elsewhere who similarly engaged in disrupting production lines were labeled as having "Lordstown Syndrome." [6] According to Peter Drucker the management consultant, it was not just the rigid discipline of the assembly line, or the speedup of operation, but rather that the workers almost unanimously felt they could have done a better job at designing much of their own work than GM's industrial engineers (hence the need to include the floor workers in part of the plant design process)[7] Due to their "hipness" long hair, and mod fashion, the strikers were referred to by the magazine Newsweek as an "industrial Woodstock." The Lordstown Strike of 1972 was part of the broader mass labor unrest of the 1970s, an era which witnessed the second most labor strikes after 1946.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grimley, Stan Boney, Nadine (April 16, 2018). "GM Lordstown going down to single shift". WKBN.
  2. ^ Hall, Kalea. "GM cuts second shift at Lordstown". vindy.com.
  3. ^ March 8, Blank; 2018 (March 9, 2018). "TJX Wants to Build $160M Warehouse in Lordstown". Business Journal Daily.
  4. ^ "General Motors Accelerates Transformation" (Press release). November 26, 2018. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ Bunkley, Nick (January 5, 2010). "A Once-Defiant U.A.W. Local Now Focuses on G.M.'s Success" – via NYTimes.com.
  7. ^ Drucker, Peter Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, and Practices, pp. 277–278
  8. ^ Cowie, Jefferson (2010). Stayin' alive : the 1970s and the last days of the working class. New York: New Press. pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-1-56584-875-7.

Coordinates: 41°8′48.42″N 80°52′36.63″W / 41.1467833°N 80.8768417°W / 41.1467833; -80.8768417

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