Starting this June, production could be sliced in half.
Things continue to not look good for sedans of all sizes due to the surging popularity of crossovers. The latest sedan, which also happens to be available as a hatchback, that may be showing early signs of trouble is the Chevrolet Cruze. According to CNBC, General Motors is cutting up to 1,500 workers at its Lordstown, Ohio production facility because of decreased demand for the Cruze. Lordstown, obviously is where the Cruze is built, and it employs just under 3,000 workers.
Yes, that means up to half of the plant’s workers could be affected by a production slow down. Late last week, workers were informed that one of the two production shifts will be eliminated by mid-June. US cars sales, meaning not crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, are down by 13.2 percent so far this year, and the Cruze is doing even worse. In 2018 alone, Cruze sales have fallen by a staggering 28 percent. Last year, a total of 184,000 units were sold, which isn’t particularly great considering that figure is down by 32 percent compared to only four year ago. The upcoming Cruze production slow down isn’t the first time GM has cut back here. Up until early last year, production took place around the clock before it was trimmed down to two shifts.
So, is this the beginning of the end of the Cruze? It’s possible, especially if the sales decline continues, which we expect it will, given the current state of crossover popularity. Not even the Cruze hatchback may be enough to save the nameplate. Yes, Ford just revealed an all-new Focus sedan and hatchback, but the Cruze has not quite achieved its popularity, especially on a global scale. The Ford Fiesta, on the other hand, is dead in America. Point being, the future isn’t look great for Chevy’s compact sedan. For now, the current generation car will likely continue on, though at a more limited production. In fact, it just received a mid-life refresh, so the current generation has probably a good 2-3 model years left in it. After that, who knows?