GM to keep production of the new Cruze in Ohio image

General Motors will keep production of the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze in the Lordstown, Ohio plant, the company has announced today.

The Cruze has been built at the Ohio plant since the fall of 2010, when the compact model was launched in the U.S. The current Cruze will be built until it reaches the 2014 model year. After that, GM will spend $220 million to retool the factory for the new Cruze. The next-generation model will feature “new exterior and interior styling, improved fuel economy and an improved interior compartment and more storage space,” GM said in a statement.

The Chevrolet Cruze is GM’s second-best selling car behind the Malibu, with 128,839 deliveries so far this year (January through July). However, sales are down 13 percent from a year earlier. In the same period, GM sold 153,782 Malibus.

The Cruze is the fourth-best selling U.S. compact, surpassed by the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. Before the next-generation is launched, GM wants to sell a diesel-powered Cruze during the second-half of 2013. For the new Cruze, GM will reportedly diversify its offering, with hatchback and coupe versions being taken into consideration for the U.S. market.

GM employs about 4,500 people at the Lordstown plant.