Lordstown Motors exploring federal loan for money to convert old GM plant

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A Lordstown Motors Corp. representative said the company is in the early process of exploring a loan

Over a year since General Motors announced it would stop production at its Lordstown plant, a new sign is taking the place where the GM Lordstown complex sign once stood.

COLUMBUS (WKBN) – A group of Ohio lawmakers is trying to get money for Lordstown Motors.

Ten Ohio senators and representatives wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy.

They’re asking the department to approve an Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan for Lordstown Motors, according to a news release from Congressman Tim Ryan’s office.

According to a spokesman for Lordstown Motors Corp., the company hasn’t yet applied for the loan, but company officials are exploring the opportunity.

He released the following statement:

“We are in discussions with government leaders about exploring the ATVM loan as an avenue for advancing Lordstown Motors. We are currently in the process of learning more about the loan and the application process, which is a pretty comprehensive one. As a private company, we are not commenting any further on financial details.”

Lordstown Motors estimates it will initially hire as many as 400 workers this year to make electric-powered pickup trucks.

The company said for each manufacturing job, it’s estimated up to eight related supplier or support jobs will also be created.

You can read the lawmakers’ full letter below:

“Dear Secretary [Dan] Brouillette,

We are writing to lend our strong support to Lordstown Motors Corp’s (LMC) application for a loan through the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) direct loan program. We believe the ATVM Loan Program plays a crucial role in supporting the nation’s growth of the U.S. auto manufacturing industry and affords companies the necessary capital for large-scale retooling projects like this. Assistance from the federal government would leverage private sector financing for investment in LMC’s plant to build electric vehicles in Lordstown, Ohio, and grow the region into the epicenter of electric vehicle manufacturing in the Midwest.

Northeast Ohio saw its economy suffer when General Motors announced in October that it was permanently closing its Lordstown Assembly Plant. As a result, thousands of workers were forced to move, retire, or obtain other jobs, dealing a severe blow to the regional economy. Thankfully, Lordstown Motors announced in November that it had purchased the Lordstown Assembly Plant from GM and would initially hire as many as 400 workers in 2020 to manufacture electric-powered pickup trucks. It is estimated that for each automotive manufacturing job creates up to eight ancillary or related supplier or support jobs. As Ohio Senators and Representatives, it is a high priority to support Lordstown Motors’ business so that it will be successful and provide high-paying job opportunities in the region.

As you know, the auto industry is capital-intensive and constitutes one of the most important market sectors nationwide – historically contributing 3 to 3.5 percent to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Electric Vehicles Market (EVM) is expected to exceed more than $151.5 billion by 2024 with approximately 7 percent of the 250+ million vehicles (cars and light trucks) expected to be on U.S. roads in 2030. Needless to say, working to ensure that Ohio is at the forefront of EVM is of great importance to all of us.

We believe that Lordstown Motors’ proposal to convert General Motors’ Lordstown Assembly Plant into a state-of-the-art electric vehicle manufacturing facility is an excellent example of why Congress created the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing loan program. In our opinion, this project is the perfect fit for the ATVM program, and we urge you to give Lordstown Motors’ application your fullest consideration.

Sincerely,

Sherrod Brown
United States Senate

Rob Portman
United States Senate

Tim Ryan
Member of Congress

Bill Johnson
Member of Congress

David P. Joyce
Member of Congress

Marcia L. Fudge
Member of Congress

Anthony Gonzalez
Member of Congress

Marcy Kaptur
Member of Congress

Brad R. Wenstrup, D.P.M.
Member of Congress

Bob Gibbs
Member of Congress”

Editor’s note: A representative of Lordstown Motors Corp. contacted us to clarify a report from Congressman Tim Ryan’s office. The company representative said Lordstown Motors Corp. hasn’t yet applied for the loan, but the company is looking into it.

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