Brown: Lordstown Is the Right Place to Build the Diesel Chevy Cruze

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) applauded news reports today that General Motors’ plant at Lordstown will build the diesel version of the Chevy Cruze vehicle.

“As the home of the original bestselling Cruze, the Lordstown plant was far and away the clearest and best choice for building the diesel Cruze. This is tremendous news for the workers at Lordstown and the entire Mahoning Valley community,” Brown said. “This Made in Ohio car epitomizes how central Ohio workers and manufacturers are to the U.S. auto industry. Not only is the car assembled right here in the Valley, but also features components made at plants all across Ohio: engine blocks manufactured in Defiance, transmissions assembled in Toledo, aluminum wheels from Cleveland, and parts stamped in Parma. Today’s good news once again underscores how vital the auto restructuring was for jobs in our state and for the resurgence of the domestic auto industry across our country.”

According to a 2010 study by the Center for Automotive Research, more than 792,000 Ohio jobs depend on the auto industry; this figure includes 120,285 direct employment (people employed directly by auto industry: 39,685 by automakers and 80,600 by parts suppliers); 276,330 indirect employment (jobs indirectly employed by automakers or parts suppliers: 167,891 by automakers and 108,439 by parts suppliers); and 395,981 spin-off employment (expenditure-induced employment resulting from spending by direct and intermediate employees; 221,018 by automakers and 174,963 by suppliers). A 2011 study by the Center for Automotive Research found that 164,654 jobs in 2009 would have been lost in Ohio if the auto industry had not been rescued.

Earlier this year, Brown released a map showing the location of auto component manufacturers for two popular cars assembled in Ohio: General Motors’ Chevy Cruze and Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler. The map shows the extent of Ohio components utilized in both models – and how investment in the auto industry has helped boost demand for Ohio-made parts:

  • Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler: Prior to the auto rescue, only 55 percent of the parts in Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler were made in America. Today, 70 percent of the Jeep Wrangler is American-made – with many parts made in Ohio. The glass is made in Crestline, the steering column in Perrysburg, the seats in Northwood, the hard top in Carey, and cargo components in Holmesville.
  • GM’s Chevy Cruze: Prior to the auto rescue, in November 2008, 1,000 workers at GM’s Lordstown plant were laid off. Today, nearly 5,000 people – including another shift of workers – build the Chevy Cruze, one of the hottest-selling cars in the nation.  The Cruze’s tires are manufactured in Akron, its wheels in Cleveland, its seats in Warren, engine blocks in Defiance, metal in Parma, transmission in Toledo, and speakers in Springboro.

About the Auto Industry’s Recovery

Recently, the National Economic Council released a new report on the resurgence of the American automotive industry. In the year before GM and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy, the auto industry shed more than 400,000 jobs.  Had President Obama failed to intervene, conservative estimates suggest that it would have cost at least an additional one million jobs and devastated vast parts of our nation’s industrial heartland.  Since GM and Chrysler Group emerged from bankruptcy in June 2009, the auto industry has added 115,000 jobs – the fastest pace of job growth in the auto industry since 1998. Last week – more than six years ahead of schedule – Chrysler Group repaid the government its outstanding loans. The repayment brought the total amount taxpayer dollars returned to $10.6 billion, which represents a full recovery on the resources committed by the Obama Administration. Chrysler Group’s Toledo operations employ more than 1,700 workers producing the Jeep® Wrangler, Jeep Liberty, and Dodge Nitro. Tier 1 suppliers for the Wrangler also support an additional 3,000 American jobs.

Brown has been an outspoken advocate for Ohio’s auto industry. In November of 2008, he introduced S. 3175, the Auto Industry Emergency Bridge Loan Act, with a bipartisan group of colleagues. In December 2008, Brown fought to ensure that funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) were allocated to aid the Big 3 and American auto suppliers—despite near-unanimous opposition from most House and Senate Republicans. At the start of 2009, Brown applauded President Obama’s decision to advance restructuring plans to ensure the viability of the American auto industry.

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