By on June 17, 2019

1972 Chevrolet Vega in Phoenix wrecking yard, RH rear view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

The General made more than two million Chevrolet Vegas during the car’s 1971-1977 run, and the numbers climb much higher if you include the Vega-derived Chevy Monza and its siblings. The Vega’s many quality problems and rapid cheap-subcompact depreciation led to nearly all of these cars disappearing from American roads well before the dawn of the 1990s, but I still find the occasional example during my junkyard travels. Here’s an early Vega two-door hatch that seemed to be in pretty good shape before it hit a large animal on an Arizona road a couple of years back. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2019

Image: Workhorse W-15, by Corey Lewis

Yesterday’s news that General Motors is in talks to sell its mothballed Lordstown assembly plant to an affiliate of Cincinnati’s Workhorse Group was met with surprise and no shortage of doubt.

For starters, the company ended last year with 98 employees. It’s still a fledgling startup, eager to sell a range-extended light duty pickup alongside its electric step vans, some of which have found a home with UPS. Workhorse is chasing larger game, however, throwing its hat in the ring for the U.S. Postal Service’s lucrative next-generation van contract. Most observers believe Workhorse’s acquisition of the Lordstown plant hinges on securing that contract. (Read More…)

By on May 8, 2019

Image: Workhorse W-15, by Corey Lewis

In a surprising turn of events, President Donald Trump broke a hot bit of news on Wednesday, tweeting that electric truck maker Workhorse Group has closed a deal to buy GM’s mothballed Lordstown Assembly plant, formerly home to the Chevrolet Cruze.

The news came by way of GM CEO Mary Barra, Trump said, and the automaker isn’t denying the plant sale. (Read More…)

By on April 2, 2019

General Motors Renaissance Center

General Motors’ legal team has requested that the lawsuit filed by the United Automobile Workers, which claims that its decision to idle factories is in violation of an existing union agreement, be dismissed by a federal judge. The UAW alleges that GM sidestepped the collective bargaining agreement established in 2015 by closing plants prematurely. But the automaker has been careful to say that the facilities are being “unallocated,” claiming the union failed to adhere to the grievance arbitration procedure outlined in its contract — which forbids UAW from going to court until all other avenues have been exhausted.

The request came with a bundle of other motions, filed on March 21st, and included a request to transfer the case from Youngstown, Ohio (where the contentious Lordstown Assembly is located) to the eastern district of Michigan.  (Read More…)

By on March 29, 2019

Image: GM

The last Chevrolet Cruze rolled out of Lordstown Assembly earlier this month, with the 53-year-old plant going dark two days later. Some laid-off workers are staying put, waiting to see if September contract talks hold any promise of a future in Lordstown.

While General Motors admits the United Auto Workers was willing to do its part to save the Lordstown Assembly Plant, details of that pact remained unknown. Now, a union official has shed light on some of the concessions the UAW agreed to. (Read More…)

By on March 21, 2019

Image: GM

Speaking against a very high-calibre backdrop at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio, President Donald Trump turned up the heat on General Motors to do something for the Lordstown-area economy. The automaker’s now-shuttered assembly plant, which entered “unallocated” status earlier this month, had been an economic driver in northeast Ohio since its opening in 1966.

Trump’s message to GM: Do something with the plant, or sell it to someone who will. While the automaker maintains that the status of its idled plants hinges on United Auto Workers labor negotiations, it does say it’s open to Lordstown Assembly offers. It’s already had some. (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2019

Image: General Motors

The president of a UAW local that represented General Motors workers at the now shuttered Lordstown Assembly plant isn’t happy knowing there was a chance that the mothballed facility could still be cranking out Chevrolet Cruzes.

Dave Green, president of UAW Local 1112, responded to reports in the Detroit Free Press and Youngstown Vindicator that a dealership mogul floated a plan to GM brass to purchase a massive order of Cruzes, thus allowing the plant to continue operating.

“If that deal was true, it could have kept 3,000 people working in Lordstown, plus all the parts suppliers on the side,” Green told Freep. (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2019

President Donald Trump weighed in on General Motors again this week. This time, the issue at hand was the fate of Lordstown Assembly — which was shuttered earlier this month as part of the automaker’s ongoing restructuring program.

“Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors about the Lordstown Ohio plant,” Trump tweeted on Sunday. “I am not happy that it is closed when everything else in our Country is BOOMING. I asked her to sell it or do something quickly. She blamed the UAW Union — I don’t care, I just want it open!”

Barra’s take on just how much the United Automobile Workers are to blame is questionable, but the president’s position is not.  (Read More…)

By on February 26, 2019

Image: GM

Canada’s autoworker union Unifor brought out the guy from Dune to protest a General Motors plant closure, but UAW went a few steps further. The American auto union hit GM with a lawsuit Tuesday, claiming the company’s decision to shutter three plants violates its 2015 collective bargaining agreement.

However, GM may have an out. (Read More…)

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