"Gut-wrenching" day as production ends at Ohio GM assembly plant

The Cruze, once a popular and well-reviewed compact car made in Lordstown since 2011, has become the victim of consumer tastes as car buyers in an era of inexpensive gasoline have shown strong preferences for trucks, SUVs and crossover-type vehicles, all of which produce far bigger profits than sedans for GM.

While Wednesday was the last day for the Cruze, GM spokesman Dan Flores said the plant’s parts-stamping operation will continue producing fenders and other replacement parts through most of March.

The 6.2 million square foot plant will be placed in a “state of readiness,” Flores said, meaning it will be heated and fully maintained to allow for a resumption of operations. A final decision on the plant’s future is expected to be made during upcoming contract talks with the United Auto Workers that begin this summer. The UAW’s national contract with GM expires in mid-September.