LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – General Motors has decided to sell the Lordstown plant to Lordstown Motors Corporation.
The decision has been months in the making.
Lordstown Motors wants to build electric vehicles and, potentially, delivery trucks for the United States Postal Service. Its debut model, Endurance, is an electric pickup truck.
It’s been almost a year since GM announced the Lordstown plant would move to unallocated status, meaning production of the Chevrolet Cruze would end and the plant’s future was up in the air.
GM released the following statement Thursday:
“GM is committed to future investment and job growth in Ohio and we believe 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 electrification.”
According to Lordstown Motors’ website, the company is pushing #RideWithLordstown on social media:
“‘Ride with Lordstown’ is to ride with Ohio manufacturing. We’re honored to have the opportunity to build electric vehicles in Lordstown because the people and the Lordstown plant are the history and future of the auto industry. Lordstown Motors will be the name on the vehicles, but what will keep us running long into the future will be the talent, experience and hard work of the people who call Northeast Ohio home.”
UAW 1112 shop chairman Dan Morgan was not happy to hear the news about Lordstown Motors:
“I am extremely disappointed in General Motors for putting all of our members, families and the community through this challenging time.
The most frustrating part is no explanation from the company at all, this has all been done behind the scenes. I have went as far as emailing [CEO] Mary Barra with a response that she is too busy to meet but will have Gerald Johnson and/or Phil Keanile reach out to me. I did talk to Phil with lots of questions. He stated, ‘I will get back to you,’ which never happened.
For GM to say they care about their employees is the furthest from the truth or they would have been upfront through this whole process so the employees and our members may understand what the future holds and why they made the decision to walk away from this strong site and the Mahoning Valley.”
In March, the last Cruze rolled off the assembly line in Lordstown.
In May, we started hearing about Workhorse (which is affiliated with Lordstown Motors but has no ownership of the company) wanting to build electric trucks in the Valley.
Production is expected to ramp up as early as the second half of 2020, according to the company’s website.
Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns said he was impressed with the facility. He used to work for Workhorse and is now using its technology for Lordstown Motors.
He said in August that he has received support from Workhorse and GM.
On Thursday, Congressman Tim Ryan said he’s proud of the former GM workers:
“I am very encouraged that the Lordstown plant has been acquired by Lordstown Motors Corporation. I am extremely proud of the men and women who helped build the General Motors brand of vehicles at the Lordstown Complex. Electric vehicles are the future of transportation and my goal is to make sure these vehicles are built right here in Northeast Ohio. I will continue to fight to bring jobs back to this facility and the district — which has and will always be my top priority. I stand ready to help this new company start building electric trucks in the Valley and put Northeast Ohio back to work. In addition to building electric vehicles, I am also working to ensure that Northeast Ohio is at the forefront of electric vehicle components such as batteries and fuel cells.”
State Sen. Michael Rulli praised the announcement:
“We never gave up on the workers and the community. The workers’ resiliency and the fabric of this community lights the way to the future of the Mahoning Valley. Our people are ready to get back to work.”
Sen. Sean O’Brien said the “news is encouraging”:
“There is a lot of potential for the Lordstown Motors project and this represents an important first step in the development of an all-electric truck fleet in our community. In the weeks and months to come, I will continue to work closely with Steve Burns, Governor DeWine, JobsOhio, Sens. Obhof, Yuko and Rulli, Rep. O’Brien and our local leaders to bring this project to fruition.
This project with Lordstown Motors could offer great opportunity for research and development, ancillary business development and continued revitalization in the Valley. The Valley is in a transformational phase and this announcement further shows that we’re open for business.”
Lordstown Motors has also talked about potential partnerships with Youngstown State University.