By on January 5, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Monroney, Made in Mexico, Image: © Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars

Update: Added dealer info, sales background.

Contrary to a statement released two days ago by General Motors, it seems not all Cruze sedans sold in the United States are made in the United States.

According to TTAC alum Ed Niedermeyer, a number of 2017 Chevrolet Cruzes — even those for sale at a dealer in Lordstown, Ohio, where GM manufactures the Cruze in the United States — are Hecho en Mexico.

On Tuesday, in response to a tweet from President-elect Donald Trump criticizing General Motors importing Cruzes from Mexico, GM stated:

General Motors manufactures the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in Lordstown, Ohio. All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.

However, after looking at VIN numbers for a number of Cruze sedans listed online at dealers throughout the United States, Niedermeyer saw many VINs beginning with the number “3.”

All Mexican-made vehicles have VIN numbers that begin with 3A through 37.

We sent out our own Bozi Tatarevic to visit his local Chevrolet store, which lists at least two units with VINs beginning with 3G, to verify if the VINs listed online were correct.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Monroney, Made in Mexico, Image: © Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars

This 2017 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan LS Automatic is located at Flow GM Auto Center in Winston-Salem, NC, and its VIN and Monroney sticker clearly indicate it was assembled in Mexico.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Monroney, Made in Mexico, Image: © Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Monroney, Made in Mexico, Image: © Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Monroney, Made in Mexico, Image: © Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars

Bark M. was also able to locate 41 Mexican-built Chevrolet Cruzes at a single Autonation store in Miami.

Made in Mexico Chevrolet Cruze at Autonation in Miami, Image: © 2017 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Made in Mexico Chevrolet Cruze at Autonation in Miami, Image: © 2017 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Made in Mexico Chevrolet Cruze at Autonation in Miami, Image: © 2017 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

Made in Mexico Chevrolet Cruze at Autonation in Miami, Image: © 2017 Bark M./The Truth About Cars

General Motors clarifies statement

According to Nick Bunkley, reporter for Automotive News, on Twitter, General Motors said it imported Cruzes from Mexico for about three months in 2016 during its launch.

Though, as Nick states, he understood the statement to mean GM imported no Cruze sedans from Mexico, as we did here at TTAC.

Not driven by demand

Mexican-built Chevrolet Cruze imports aren’t even a matter of high domestic demand for the second-generation sedan. GM has roughly 80,000 Cruzes in inventory going into December, representing about four-months supply for the compact. The Cruze accounted for only 6 percent of GM’s U.S. volume in 2016.

“Prior to the false statements General Motors made in response to Trump’s Cruze/Mexico tweets, 2016 was a particularly poor year for GM’s compact car,” stated TTAC’s sales guru Timothy Cain.

“While U.S. sales of passenger cars slid 9 percent, Cruze volume plunged 17 percent, a loss of nearly 38,000 sales for GM’s fifth-highest-volume product. Given the freshness of the Cruze’s complete redesign, this sharp downturn wasn’t merely explained by the sector’s decline. GM did, however, de-emphasize sales to daily rental companies through much of 2016, a factor that contributed to the decrease.”

General Motors did not respond when contacted.

[Images: © 2017 Bozi Tatarevic/The Truth About Cars]

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105 Comments on “General Motors Statement Regarding US-Sold Chevrolet Cruze Sedans Misleading...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Well this thread of “discussion” ought to be… interesting.

  • avatar
    WalterRohrl

    It’s no wonder that destination fees are so high when manufacturers decide to ship product across a border rather than just across town when possible (i.e. Lordstown). Assuming of course that both plants can build the identical product mix; if so, then it appears to be a logistics fail. On the other hand it may make sense for Mexico to supply Southern and border states from a transportation perspective but certainly no points north or east of the Lordstown plant.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      The destination charge will be the same regardless of the location of the dealership.

      Note that the parts sources listed on the window sticker are Canada, the United States and Mexico. I know from personal experience that parts made in any of these countries are shipped to assembly plants in other ones. Railroads and truckers make lots of money shipping parts and finished vehicles all over.

      • 0 avatar
        WalterRohrl

        Yes I understand that the charge is the same everywhere, thanks for enlightening me… However if they were able to minimize the actual charges incurred by shipping to locations in a logical manner that could be passed down to the consumer.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      There could be some correlation between where the cars are made and their equipment levels and paint selection. When BMW started making cars in Spartanburg, the first cars they built were stripped white 4-door 318i sedans. They picked that model because it had the least complexity and white is the color least sensitive to paint quality issues. When last my family bought a new Honda, where your CR-V was made depended on the equipment level. CR-Vs with navigation came from Japan. EX-Ls without the tech package came from Ohio. Some lower trim CR-Vs came from Mexico.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    General Motors: Run By Retards.

    That should be their official motto.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I wonder how this sits with the UAW folks.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      The UAW, and the now gone CAW , replaced by UNIFOR, are just shadows of their former selves. The opinion of the “rank and file” never has carried a lot of weight. The union leaders call the shots, and they haven’t got a whole lot of ammo left.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        You poor Canadians are forced to listen to the American political spectacle, so I’m sorry for that.

        But in line with what you said, my understanding is that the union leaders lobbied for Clinton, but many rank-and-file voted for Trump, because of issues just like this. Clinton scored the smallest union lead for a Democrat in decades.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/11/10/donald-trump-got-reagan-like-support-from-union-households/?utm_term=.dbf191d53994

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          They don’t seem to be breaking out public sector unions from private sector unions. I believe Trump beat Clinton with private sector union households.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    PS: Good to see someone still follows Ed N.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    What’s up with the mis-matching font on the VIN? Is that standard practice across the industry now?

  • avatar
    ajla

    The wall just got 10 ft bigger.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    GM’s next CEO: http://mikaelsyding.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/full-retard.jpg

    GM’s next big innovation: http://image.superchevy.com/f/9224064+w640+h426+q80+re0+cr1+ar0+st0/0610ch_18_z%2Bsuperchargers%2Bboost_retard_controller.jpg

    Bonus:

    That’s not a Bruick (Envision)!!!

    http://www.carnewschina.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/buick-envision-suv-october-china-3.jpg?x21786

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Remember GM also said the TARP bailout was really just a short term loan that they would be paying back with interest?

    They should have put some sort of provision in TARP for the automakers that all future production for the US market had to stay in the United States. Especially since the whole thing was sold as a way to save American jobs.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      whitworth,
      I like the idea, but the reality is that GM would pretty much be selling only pickups if that were the case. In the global economy, if GM can’t access lower cost labor markets, they can’t profitably sell a full line of vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        And yet Honda makes the Civic in the US and Toyota makes the Corolla here as well.

        All sorts of other examples of other companies having no problems with smaller car production in the US.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          True enough. But I don’t think anyone who has followed the auto industry for the last few decades can reasonably expect GM to perform like Toyota or Honda.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          The Civic is (often) made in Canada. So is the Corolla, but that is shifting—wait for it—to Mexico.

          • 0 avatar

            Civic is made in Canada and the United States. All non-union labor, IIRC.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            “The Civic is (often) made in Canada. ”
            _______________

            Is it “often” also made in the US? What have you disproved?

            Honda and Toyota make both of those models in the United States. As well as the Accord and Camry. And a lot of other places as well for different markets. They have plants all over the world.

            My point is, somehow other auto companies have no problem building cars in the US and selling them here and being profitable. And that was without a taxpayer bailout.

            Apparently, that’s just not possible with UAW labor for the Big 3 to build cars here in the US anymore?

            So maybe they should have been left to die since they can’t profitably build cars in the US any more.

            Looks like the UAW is terrible for the US job market since any auto manufacturer with UAW labor has to move the workforce south of the border to make cars anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            It’s not the UAW, or Toyota wouldn’t be shifting Corolla production from Canada to Mexico. Meanwhile, GM and Ford have shifted production from Canada to the US even though the Canadian union isn’t particularly strong and Canada’s labour costs are lower due to socialized health care.

            The point is that margins are thin and US, Canadian and western European countries have higher direct and indirect labour and regulatory costs. Manufacturers will make things where it’s most profitable to do so, and that’s usually determined by the profit on the product they’re making, the logistics in getting product where it needs to go, and the stepped cost of running a plant.

            This is why you get weird little things like the Regal being made in Germany: you could build it in the US or Canada, but it’s more cost-effective to run a German plant at 100%, despite German workers costing more, than to run a German plant at 80% and a Canadian plant at 30%.

            Saying “It’s the union” is overly simplistic and, frankly, scapegoating.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            It’s never the UAW’s fault. Ever.

            Somehow the other car companies that don’t have the burden of UAW labor (or the advantage of an enormous taxpayer bailout) seem to be able to make the numbers work a lot easier. They also don’t go bankrupt.

            Again, TARP should have held these companies to keep all production in the United States for the US market.

            If Honda and Toyota can make these cars here, GM should be able to also.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Apparently, that’s just not possible with UAW labor for the Big 3 to build cars here in the US anymore?”

            Given that the Big 3 builds dozens of car makes in the U.S., I’m not sure what your point is.

          • 0 avatar
            whitworth

            “Given that the Big 3 builds dozens of car makes in the U.S., I’m not sure what your point is.”
            _________

            I’m responding to the “you can’t expect GM be like Honda and Toyota and make cars here” comment.

            I would be far more tolerant of the Big 3 moving production outside the US if we hadn’t subsidized them so heavily in order to save American jobs. (at least when it comes to Chrysler and GM)

            Regardless, I’d like to see more protectionist policies across the board for all companies wishing to have access to our markets.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Witworth, you’re drawing conclusions and then looking for “facts” to back them up.

            There is a lot of missing information in what you’re saying, and its very easy to bias the facts towards your objective when you conveniently leave out opposing facts, such as Toyota and Honda not being unionized, that they also build in Mexico and avoid high labor just like GM, Ford and FCA. It sure is more profitable when you cut huge expenses before the first car rolls off the assembly line. American manufacturers are not the only ones to notice this, however the *majority of the vehicles they sell here are still built in the U.S.*.

            And its awesome how its always the “big 3”. Did Ford take a bail out? No. Did Toyota recieve money from its home government during the same period (financial crisis)? Yes. Oops, more opposing facts. Sorry.

            But, its always the big 3 that are cheating Americans out of their money and jobs, raping the innocent, stepping on those stupid enough to support them, still building their 1977 Aspens, Novas and Mavricks, hopelessly uncompetitive, out of touch, with no hope and no redeeming qualities whatsoever, right? Any evidence, testimony or downright proof to the contrary is just fluff that you need to tune out, huh?

            All praise be to mighty Toyota.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            whitworth came to attack the “Big 3” (whatever that means these days) and the UAW. Mission accomplished. Congrats.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Isn’t the shift of small car production to Mexico related to Mexico having better trade agreements with emerging South American markets than the US and Canada do?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            psarhjinian,
            I do believe your comment relating to costs is a little inaccurate.

            The Germans in fact receive less handouts and taxpayer support than the production of a US made vehicle.

            From my recollection the Germans receive about one third the value of US protection.

            The US is NOT able to compete in small vehicle production, hence the massive support and protection offered to large vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Click REPLY to reload page

      GM may have meant that it does work that way, just kind of indirectly: For each Mexican kept busy working in the auto industry, there will be one less competing with Americans for restaurant, janitorial, yard maintenance, day laborer and farm labor jobs.

  • avatar
    pmirp1

    And Obama said there is nothing he can do, he doesn’t have a magic wand. But he does have the bully pulpit. Something Obama doesn’t understand how to use.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuhXkCF-L2E

    Yet our president elect without any power, can force these companies to look at their outsourcing plans a second time. I love that Trump is doing this. Look at those made in China cars too that GM is importing. Here is a company that taxpayers helped rescue, yet it has no shame in sending jobs to Mexico. Its about time someone stands up for the people. And now he is picking on Toyota, as well he should. This is why Trump is considered a people’s president.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      This is why we need to start teaching basic economics in high school.

    • 0 avatar
      Keith_93

      prirp1, that would be an excellent point. Except: reality.

      Shall we review Trump’s claims re jobs? Ford isn’t going to build a plant in Mexico. Donald’s da man? Reality: Ford Focus sales are soft. Ford doesn’t need the factory.

      Softbank is bringing 50,000 jobs to the US. Donald has pounded his twitter chest with pride on this. Reality: They announced the plans in October.

      No question GM blew it in their announcement. And they didn’t have to. If they are making all the sedans in Ohio now, they have a good PR story.

      Better than this guys story:

      Where are the ties made now?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Good reporting, Mark.

    Kudos to TTAC.

  • avatar
    motormouth

    You all know that this misinformation can probably be traced back to a PR who, like a lot their kind, is as dumb as a bag of rocks.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Every morning in NYC this takes place…
    Trump: What can I do to help create or save American jobs today?

    Every morning in DC this takes place…
    Obama: Hey Valerie how we doing on getting our friends released from GITMO? When’s my next anti-American global apology tour?

    After President Trump erases Obama’s meaningless legacy he’ll set his sites on the governments of Mexico, China, and India. Economically the next eight years are going to be a boom for the USA. Don’t be surprised if luxury vehicles and pick-up trucks achieve new sales records.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      mtmmo,
      As a highly trained economist, have you ever heard the term ‘full employment’?

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        I’m aware of the concept, why do you ask?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Because if you understand what full employment is, and look at the current state of our economy, then you know that merely adding jobs will only increase inflation.

          As it is, every company I speak with is desperate to hire skilled workers. That’s what we need, not tweets that pressure companies into launching PR campaigns to show how many American jobs they are falsely creating.

          • 0 avatar
            yamahog

            Companies always want to hire ‘skilled workers’ that’s nothing new, even in the depths of the recession I heard people bemoan the difficulty recruiting – though usually those people wanted a purple squirrel.

            But we have a low labor force participation rate, it’s possible we can increase employment without much inflation. Additionally, an insane amount of CPI inflation comes from healthcare, higher education, and housing. If Trump were to contain healthcare costs, make college ‘affordable’, and make it easier to develop real estate, we could probably grow the economy, increase employment, and manage inflation.

            Lastly, I don’t know exactly what you meant by “…Skilled workers. that’s what we need”. But corporations can train people too, they just chose not to. Don’t you think that we’d see corporations relaxing their standards / transform unskilled people into skilled people before there’s massive wage inflation?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            You make decent points, Yamahog. Better than any of the presidential candidates I heard.

            I just don’t think some orange wizard tweeting from his gold throne is going to help in a meaningful way. But I’ve been wrong before.

          • 0 avatar
            yamahog

            Lastly, it’s such a fallacy to presume that white collar work needs special ‘skills’.

            I’d bet my car that someone in GM who approved the false statement makes more than me. Why doesn’t GM hire me to do their job? I at least make an attempt to cite things when I’m at work.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            In all the uproar over GM’s error, it should be noted that Trump also twitter-attacked Toyota for building a new factory in Baja, Mexico.

            Only issue is that Toyota already has a factory in Baja, Mexico. But no outrage from the Trumpettes over this gaffe.

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        Vogo:

        Have you ever heard the phrase “rigged statistics”?

        Full employment, which we had twelve years ago, does NOT include record-breaking numbers on Food Stamp/SNAP programs; does NOT include record numbers of Americans NOT working.

        The true unemployment figures, counting ALL adults without work, not just those drawing Unemployment Compensation, is over fifteen percent.

        No, I don’t think tariffs will take us to full employment. Hooverism is a failure; and Hooverism gave us Smoot-Hawley and turned a bank panic into a fifteen-year depression. But just as with balancing one’s checkbook, it’s important to know that the figures you start with are correct.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          JPT,
          Full employment has a specific definition: that the unemployment rate is at or below 5%.

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            Correct. But “unemployment rate” has a specific definition too, which you are either ignorant of or ignoring.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            I’m not ignoring the unemployment rate. I am simply stating facts. We are at what economists term full employment. In the past, when an economy has been at full employment, further stimulus results in inflation which dilute any wage increases.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VoGo,
        That can’t be. The Chinese who lost 30 million manufacturing jobs in the past decade have taken all American jobs with what appears to be the Mexican auto manufacturing sector.

        The Mexicans immigrants have taken all those high paying American jobs in Vegas hotels and lawn mowing.

        From the outside, the US is becoming a joke with some of the commentary.

        Reality. Trumps tax reduction plans will help the wealthy. Trumps massive infrastructure plan will only place the US in more debt. Less tax and increase government spending equals a disaster. What is the US’es current level of debt?

        I give the US economy a year or two if Trump gets his way. I’m hoping he doesn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      “…set his sites…”

      Jesus wept!

    • 0 avatar
      Click REPLY to reload page

      You are being sarcastic, right? I sure hope so.

  • avatar
    George B

    In the past, the main reason fuel efficient GM cars were manufactured in Lordstown, Ohio was because auto manufacturers had to meet weighted average CAFE requirements for their domestic fleet separate from their CAFE weighted average for their imported cars. They were low-profit CAFE compliance cars. Do the Mexican-built Cruzes still count toward a separate CAFE calculation?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      With the new CAFE that A is gone since everything is foot print based now. So the Cruise “fleet” has a target to meet based on it’s footprint.

      If it makes its target then all is good.

      If it exceeded it’s target then all the better that sales weighted excess can be used to offset other vehicle families or banked for future years.

      If it misses the target then they have to find a credit from one of their other products, use some of those banked credits, or pay a fine.

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        That’s not true, go look at this site:
        https://one.nhtsa.gov/cafe_pic/CAFE_PIC_fleet_LIVE.html

        I think there are rules around CAFE bonuses and what fleets they apply to. E.g only domestic vehicles can qualify for E85 bonuses. I don’t know why they seperate the car fleets? Historically they used to also seperate 4×4 and 4×2 trucks but that’s not the case anymore.

  • avatar
    TwoBelugas

    It’s nice to see some actual reporting instead of the mindless partisan copy-and-paste that fills some of other blog sites that starts with “J”. I don’t fault GM for playing by the rules of NAFTA but if they are going to try to refute a tweet, they should at least do a vin search of their own dealer inventory first.

  • avatar
    jammyjo

    New GM a lot like the old GM.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I sincerely hope that the recent U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Appeals ruling holding that GM committed fraud in not disclosing ignition switch defect and liability on bankruptcy petition, thus allowing *New General Motors, LLC* to be held liable for *Old General Motors Corp* tort debt, is upheld.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I read GMs response. I do believe it to be ambiguous rather than “lying”.

    The ambiguity starts with the use of “All”. All now? Or All, all the time?

    It most probably was intended to be an ambiguous statement. The clarification statement by GM should of been the first statement.

    Here’s a little story. Australia did manufacture the Cruze, for double the cost of importing a Korean Cruze. The taxpayer payed for the uncompetitive Aussie Cruze, until the elected government stopped the waste of tax dollars.

    For the US to manufacture a competitive small vehicle someone has to pay for the uncompetitive product. The taxpayer and/or the consumer.

    When this occurs people have less money to put back into the economy, thus reducing the standard of living, reducing the tax take, etc.

    I really think this pro US push will gradually make the US competitive, by reducing your standard of living.

    If Donnie Dump considers the US only good enough to compete with developing nations, you guys have a problem. My view is the US is better than this.

    Donnie Dump with his comment directed at Toyota drove Toyota’s share price down 8%. Big business and the little people who live off of shares should become anxious.

    Don’t worry, Vlad and the Russians will save the day.

    Donnie is playing a game and soliciting emotional responses by continually attacking the auto industry, whilst using Wall St goons as his aides. Donnie Dump is in debt to the Wall St bankers for over $1 billion, a tad more than the $300 million he declared.

    He’s also stopped chastising Wall St.

    Honourable man he is.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    So, does anyone actually know the percentage of US-bound Cruzes built in Mexico? Anecdotally, the organization I work for has several hundred ’17 Cruzes in use or on order, and 17% were from Ramos Arizpe. Has Lordstown seen any reduction in staffing, as I assume they aren’t at capacity. How much do facts even matter in dealing with Trump?

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      When I lived in Atlanta, it was not unusual to see small GM cars coming from Mexico. After a certain point, I believe almost all of the non convertible Sunfires came from Ramos Arizpe. Depending upon where you are, they may have filled the order with whatever stock was available to meet the date.

      FWIW, Lordstown is ending the third shift, but I think it has more to do with the inventory situation than Mexican production. At least that’s what I’ve been reading/hearing.

      I think people (outside observers) would be happy with the fact that GM is laying off or furloughing employees when the inventories stack up. Or practicing “channel stuffing”.

      But, Ed N and the Kraut that shall not be named have an even greater hatred for GM than you can imagine. I can’t understand why GM would dignify this tweet with a reaction?

      So, this kind of gotcha! revelation is more about bad/ineffectual/morose PR than it is about any insinuation that all Cruzes are coming up from Mexico. Or that L-town is being shuttered and all of the production moved south of the border.

      Of all car companies in the US, (New) GM has invested mightily here, meaning particularly Michigan and Ohio. Many plants were shuttered after the Great Recession, but the ones that remain have been modernized. It’s a shame that sales have cratered, though.

  • avatar
    ricknrusty

    Well, not all Chevy Cruze Cars are made in Mexico. I have a 2014 Chevy Cruze Diesel and it was made in the Great USA. My motor was made in Germany. The German motor in my car is a B Model. The original 2.0 liter motor did not meet the emissions requirements in the state of California. So they produced this B Model which so far is ok. they said it would get 46 mpg on the freeway, but now its lagging some. Time to take it in to Chevy for a check up.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    The large Chevy dealer here in Central Ohio has 89 Cruze in stock – of those 24 were “Henco En Mexico”.

    It seems to hold around 30% or so.


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