The Latest: Last car comes off line at GM assembly plant

LORDSTOWN, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on the idling of a GM plant in Ohio (all times local):

View all (3)

3:40 p.m.

The last Chevrolet Cruze has rolled off the assembly line at a General Motors plant in Ohio where 1,700 hourly positions are being eliminated, perhaps for good.

The factory near Youngstown is the first of five North American auto plants that GM plans to shut down by early next year.

Workers have been gathering outside GM's Lordstown plant Wednesday after their last shift making the Chevrolet Cruze. Some say they don't know what the future holds.

The closings are part of a major restructuring for GM, but they still must be negotiated with the union.

President Donald Trump has said he wants the plant to stay open.

Workers at the Lordstown plant that employed 4,500 people just two years ago are asking GM to give them another vehicle to build.

___

1:45 p.m.

Ohio's two U.S. senators say they'll continue to push General Motors to keep open its assembly plant where production is being stopped, at least temporarily.

Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown says he thinks the plant near Youngstown can be retooled to make electric cars.

Production is ending Wednesday at the plant in Lordstown as the last Chevrolet Cruze is expected to come off the assembly line.

GM says it's looking at other options for the plant that employed 4,500 people just two years ago, but the automaker isn't making any promises that it will reopen.

Ohio Republican Rob Portman says he'll press GM to bring one of its new electric vehicles to the plant. He says the workers who've given so much to the company deserve it.

___

1 p.m.

A union leader in Ohio says it's a gut-wrenching day for auto workers at a General Motors plant where production is being stopped after more than 50 years.

The last Chevrolet Cruze built at GM's plant near Youngstown is expected to come off the assembly line Wednesday.

GM plans to shut down the plant as well as four others in North America by early next year.

What's not known is whether the plant in Ohio will ever reopen.

The closings still need to be negotiated with the union, and the 1,700 hourly workers still at the Ohio plant are hoping they'll get a new vehicle to build.

Union leader Dave Green says he walked through the plant Wednesday and saw workers crying and emotional over their last day.

___

7:30 a.m.

General Motors' sprawling Lordstown assembly plant near Youngstown is about to end production of the Chevrolet Cruze sedan, ending for now more than 50 years of auto manufacturing at the site.

The jobs of nearly 1,700 hourly workers will be eliminated when production ends Wednesday afternoon and a contingent of workers finish making replacement parts like hoods and fenders sometime this month.

United Auto Workers officials remain optimistic that contract negotiations with GM starting this summer will breathe new life into the plant.

GM has said car buyers' appetite for trucks and SUVs has significantly cut into demand for compact cars like the Cruze, which will continue to be made in Mexico.

Recently promoted company President Mark Reuss said in January that GM is "looking at a lot of different options for the plant," without giving specifics.