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What we know about the company that wants to buy GM’s Lordstown plant

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LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – General Motors says it’s in discussion with the electric car company Workhorse to talk about selling the Lordstown assembly plant. If the deal goes through, Workhorse — which is located in Cincinnati — could reach the northeast corner of the state.

Workhorse is struggling to turn a profit but it’s working with $35 million in funding it got in December.

For the first three months of this year, Workhorse sales were down 65% compared to a year ago. Its net loss was $6.3 million in the quarter.

It’s struggling to make more vehicles. Workhorse has over 6,000 orders. CEO Duane Hughes told investors this week, “We remain confident in the strength and quality of our prototype vehicles and the way they performed during the testing process.”

Hughes expects to be at full production by October.

“We are prepared for full production mode going into the Q4 and by the end of the Q4, we will be ramped up to where we can maintain a consistent flow of deliveries on a routine basis throughout 2020 and beyond,” he said.

Workhorse has tested vehicles on real-world delivery routes in Cincinnati and San Francisco, but finances remain a problem.

The company lost $36.5 million last year, bringing in only $763,000.

Workhorse remains committed to what it calls a “truck first philosophy” — specifically, an electric pickup for commercial fleets.

Founder Steve Burns has said, “The first vehicle we would plan to build if we were to purchase the Lordstown complex would be a commercial electric pickup, blending Workhorse’s technology with Lordstown’s manufacturing expertise.”

There are believers in Workhorse. The company stock soared 200% on Wednesday. On Thursday, it dropped 22%.

A company spokesperson told us the plant would not be sold to Workhorse directly, but that a separate entity would be created to buy the plant. Burns is the face of this new entity so far. The name of that entity hasn’t been released yet.

The spokesperson said these discussions started earlier this year and have progressed nicely.

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