For how much longer?

For how much longer?

After General Motors' Lordstown plant recently moved to one shift, doubts have been growing over what the company is planning to do with the factory. Now, a local senator says he has asked Mary Barra why GM is making investments in Mexico rather than in Ohio.

According to a report carried by ABC news affiliate WYTV, Ohio senator Sherrod Brown pressed GM's CEO on the fate of the plant when he and Mary Barra spoke earlier in the week. Barra would not commit to having any plans for the factory either way. Currently Lordstown builds only the Chevrolet Cruze.

Barra told Brown that it would be "too expensive" to retool the factory for production of the newly announced Chevy Blazer as it uses a different architecture to the Cruze. The Blazer is to be built at one of two Ramos Arizpe plants which GM operates in Mexico's northeast. Senator Brown, a Democrat, has now raised the fate of Lordstown with president Trump.

The Cruze, now two and a half years old, has been restyled for the 2019 model year. GM announced this in April. A few days later, workers at the Lordstown plant were told that the production line would switch to one shift from 18 June. The third shift had been axed in 2017. The Ohio factory moved to a single shift on 25 June. Year to date US market deliveries for the Cruze range are down by 26 percent, data released by GM show.

The next Cruze, due for release in 2022, will be part of the GM project to switch almost all of its front-wheel drive/AWD models onto one architecture, VSS-F. As yet there have been no announcements over which factories in the worldwide GM manufacturing network will manufacture and assemble the future model.

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