We are coming up on two weeks since the last Chevy Cruz came off the line at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, but new reporting from the Detroit Free Press and The Youngstown Vindicator shows there was an effort late last year to keep the economic engine of the Mahoning Valley alive.
In December, the Free Press reports Cleveland businessman and car dealer Bernie Moreno pitched buying 150,000 to 180,000 Chevy Cruze vehicles to start a ride hailing company similar to Uber or Lyft. The catch: they had to be made in Lordstown.
The Vindicator reports that GM CEO Mary Barra was not willing to change plans.
Channel 3 reached out to Ohio Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, as well as JobsOhio, UAW Local 1112 and Moreno himself – none were able to confirm the talks ever occurred.
The consistent message from the key stakeholders was: We remain hopeful that talks between GM and the UAW later this year will bring a new vehicle line to Lordstown.
Sources tell Channel 3 the lack of discussion or comments on the record are an attempt to keep GM happy—not paint them as a company unwilling to find creative ways to keep people employed.