LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As General Motors in Lordstown tries to meet demand for the Chevy Cruze around the country, workers know the goal is to produce 1,260 of the vehicles each day.
“We’re close, we’re meeting that demand. Each day we’re getting better and we’re getting closer to that run number, but is there work to be done? Yes,” said United Auto Workers Local 1714 President Bob Morales. “The leadership is committed to making sure we do that and implement these changes.”
Local 1714 covers about 1,400 union autoworkers at the Lordstown Fab Plant.
Morales says there have been some growing pains since production of the new generation Cruze began late last winter, while workers and managers push to meet Detroit’s expectations.
“GMS is ‘Global Manufacturing Systems’ and that’s something that’s required throughout the corporation.”
Each step in the building of these cars is known as a “process” and when there are problems, it can affect production.
“We had some issues with the processes, but we’re identifying those issues and that’s what GMS is about. Identifying those issues and trying to overcome those issues so we can run at a proper pace,” Morales said.
Until Lordstown reaches that point, the automaker plans to start building what’s being called a “limited” number of Cruzes for the North American market at its plant in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico starting sometime in September. Morales describes the extra production as a chance for a relaunch of sorts.
“Get caught up on some of our GMS processes and get better as a plant.”
At this point, union leaders and officials with General Motors insist there are no plans to cut back on production in Lordstown.
Morales says both sides are working on improving the plant’s “built-in-quality” factor. The highest level for that is a 4 and Lordstown is now a 3.
He says if the plant reaches a 4, it won’t need the assistance from Mexico.