Cruze official car of Cleveland Auto Show - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Cruze official car of Cleveland Auto Show

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -

The  Chevrolet Cruze is the official car of the 2017 Cleveland Auto Show kicking off this weekend.  

One lucky visitor will win a new Premier model Cruze at the show's end.

The hype for the Cruze comes while demand has dropped off, eliminating the third shift at the Lordstown plant. 

GM is also putting the spotlight on the new 2018 Equinox, which is lighter, has more storage space and improved fuel economy.  That is where consumer choice has shifted and that's what is hurting small car sales.  

The president of United Auto Workers Local 1112 was asked if that trend is enough to raise concerns that Cruze production might go to only one shift. "No concern at this point in time, but it is a consumer driven market. Right now the projection is we'll be able to stay on two shifts for the foreseeable future," said Glenn Johnson.  

While Cruze sales locally remain strong, the autoworkers believe it needs more national exposure. "We're looking to expand things to other parts of the country.  I believe if we just get them out there and get customers in our cars they will like it and they will purchase our cars," said Robert Morales, President of UAW Local 1714.

Most industry observers, like Phil LeBeau of CNBC, see no end soon to the trend toward SUVs, trucks and crossovers. He says the good news is that should GM replace the Cruze, the Lordstown plant will always be in the automakers plans.

"You have to look at Lordstown in terms of capacity available, and that is capacity that  General Motors will ultimately want to use in some fashion," said LeBeau. 

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