GM has been taking a political beating lately, from the President, from unions, from baseball stadiums, and in the press over the recent closure of several plants, the layoffs of thousands of U.S. workers, and a continual shift to production outside the Detroit giant’s home country. Today the General announced a pair of new compact crossovers, the Chevrolet Trailblazer and its platform-mate the Buick Encore GX. Will they be built here? It doesn’t sound likely.
This question is inspired by friend of Jalopnik, Aaron Cole with his tweet below. While GM has not officially made an announcement as to where the Encore GX and Trailblazer will be built, the going rumor is that they’ll be assembled in South Korea.
While the official word on GM’s Lordstown plant closure was that it was a “ground track” plant, and retrofitting the place to operate with GM’s new standard “overhead arm” system would have been too expensive. Sure, it would have saved thousands of American jobs, but at what cost?
But, if the retrofit had happened, two high-volume platform sharing GM products could have easily kept a few shifts of workers busy for years to come. Instead of investing in its domestic assets by updating a plant in Ohio, it’s potentially cheaper and easier to build these compact SUVs in Korea, pop them in containers, load them onto container ships, and relocate them halfway around the world.
Could GM build the Encore GX and Trailblazer here in the U.S.? Of course it could. Will it? Shake your Magic 8 Ball.