A Cleveland businessman is thought to have offered General Motors an intriguing deal in a bid to convince the company to keep its Lordstown plant operational.
An article from The Vindicator claims that businessman Bernie Moreno offered to buy thousands of Chevrolet Cruzes a year for five years from Chevrolet. His primary stipulation was that the vehicles would be built at the Lordstown plant, giving the assembly complex enough work to support two shifts over five years.
Moreno intended on using all those Cruzes to launch a car hire service similar to Uber and Lyft.
It is claimed that General Motors was presented with the proposal on March 6, the same day that the final Cruze rolled out of the factory, bringing to an end work for 1,500 employees.
President of UAW Local 1112, Dave Green, has confirmed that he met with Moreno to discuss the possibility of keeping the Lordstown factory operational. Asked by The Vindicator to detail his proposal, Moreno claimed that he had signed a non-disclosure agreement and couldn’t say anything.
When contacted abut Moreno’s alleged proposal, GM didn’t deny that a potential deal was on the table, but said the segment occupied by the Cruze isn’t viable in the long term.
“GM leadership took into consideration a variety of market factors when we made the product and manufacturing-related decisions announced last November 26th,” GM corporate spokesman Daniel Flores said. “The decision to discontinue the Cruze was made in response to market-related declines in customer demand for passenger cars. We don’t believe this segment is viable for us.”
“These were very difficult decisions because we know they impact people, families and communities. We’ve been successful with offering job opportunities for Lordstown employees at other U.S. plants that build products in growing market segments,” Flores confirmed.