General Motors announced Monday it will cease production of the Chevy Cruze in early 2019 -- the only vehicle its Lordstown plant produces.
In a press release, GM said it will cut 15 percent of its salaried workers and new products will be brought to fewer plants next year. Plants that will be "unallocated" in 2019 include Lordstown, as well as Detroit-Hamtramck in Michigan and Oshawa Assembly in Ontario, Canada.
The decision was quickly criticized by Ohio politicians such as Representative Tim Ryan (D-13th district), who said in a press release the announcement was “devastating for Northeast Ohio.”
“I implore President Trump to keep his word when he came to the Mahoning Valley last year and promised jobs were ‘all coming back,’” he said in the press release.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown also released a statement, calling the decision “shameful.”
“GM owes the community answers on how the rest of the supply chain will be impacted and what consequences its disastrous decision will have on the Mahoning Valley and our state,” he said in the press release. “My office stands ready to do everything we can to help these workers.”
Senator Rob Portman said in a press release that he asked GM to commit to bringing a new product to the plant. “I urged GM to at least reallocate some of the production and employees to the Toledo GM plant,” he said in the statement. “
In a statement, Governor John Kasich said the news was “frustrating” but said he would work with GM to try to preserve the plant. “In the meantime, we’ve set up a jobs center to help employees find new work as quickly as possible,” he said in the statement. “Lordstown has been part of the GM family for more than 50 years so it’s painful to see this happen to the plant’s workers, their families and the community.”
In the GM press release, Barra said the decisions were made to reflect consumer preferences and the changing market conditions. “The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” she said in the release.
GM opened the Lordstown plant in the late 1960s.
Editor's note: This article has been updated. This story also originally indicated that Senator Portman asked GM CEO Mary Barra to commit to bringing a new product to the plant. Portman's office now says the senator spoke with a VP at GM.