I know many in Ohio have probably wondered what GM was going to do with the Lordstown assembly plant that was shuttered. Well it appears now they have an answer.
General Motors confirmed on Thursday it has sold its shuttered
Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio to a startup that has an ambitious
plan to begin building electric pickup trucks by the end of 2020.
Lordstown Motors Corp, which is 10% owned by Workhorse Group, has
retained Ohio investment bank Brown Gibbons Lang & Co and is
working to raise additional capital, Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns
said in an interview. Workhorse shares closed up 27% on the news.
The fate of the northeastern Ohio plant has become a lighting rod in
the 2020 presidential election after GM announced in November 2018 its
planned closure, drawing condemnation from President Donald Trump and
many U.S. lawmakers. The fate of the plant, which ended operations in
March, remained uncertain until the Detroit automaker reached a new
contract with the United Auto Workers union last month.
The company has been working on the engineering of the new truck,
called Endurance, and hired Rich Schmidt, a former director of
manufacturing at Tesla Inc, as chief production officer.
GM said Thursday it believes "LMC?s plan to launch the Endurance
electric pickup has the potential to create a significant number of
jobs and help the Lordstown area grow into a manufacturing hub for
GM is not investing in the venture. The purchase price was not
disclosed, but sources said it was similar to EV startup Rivian
Automotive's 2017 acquisition of a former Mitsubishi plant in Normal,
Illinois, for $16 million. Burns said the company got a "great
deal" after 10 months of talks with GM.
Burns, the former Workhorse CEO, said the company has been working on
engineering the new truck for the last six months but acknowledged the
timetable is "aggressive." However, he said the company has
the advantage that the Ohio plant is "fully intact, still
Burns hopes to have pre-production prototypes coming off the assembly
line by April and start production by November 2020 with 400 hourly
workers to start. In addition to the truck for the public, Burns hopes
to land a lucrative contract to build trucks for the U.S. Postal
Service. But several other companies, such as Mahindra, are in the
"When you live in a factory area and the factory closes, there is
a lot of pain there," Burns said, saying Lordstown/Workhorse want
to build a company for the long term. "This should be the
electric epicenter of the Midwest if you do it right."
Burns declined to say how much money the company has raised but said
it has raised enough to hire the management team and engineers and
acquire the factory. He said "the serious" effort to raise
additional financing began on Thursday, and he is looking for new
The fate of the 6.2-million-square-foot Lordstown plant has been a
major focus for Trump, who in June 2017 advised workers in nearby
Youngstown, Ohio, that factory jobs were not leaving. ?Don?t move,
don?t sell your house,? he said.
GM last month said it plans an electric battery cell plant near the
Lordstown complex that could eventually employ 1,000 people. Sources
have said the battery plant would be a joint venture, where the
workers are represented by the UAW and earn in the range of $15 to $17
The sprawling Lordstown plant at one time employed more than 4,500
workers, but was down to 1,400 workers on one shift by the time GM
announced the plant was closing.
- posted 6 months ago