LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Lordstown Motors Corp.’s CEO walked into the former GM Lordstown plant Thursday for the first time after buying it.
Steve Burns also talked to local leaders about his plans for the former GM Lordstown plant, saying he was attracted to the area due to its workforce and talent.
“This isn’t just a factory for us. It’s our headquarters,” he said.
He talked about his goal to make Lordstown the hub of electric-vehicle production.
Battery packs and motors will be made inside the plant. Lordstown Motors is inviting other suppliers to come here.
“We think these are the jobs of the future,” Burns said.
Burns specifically cited electric vehicles for commercial use.
He called the former GM Lordstown plant a “gem.”
GM left nearly every piece of equipment inside, although it will take some small tweaking to make a bigger vehicle.
Burns said the name of the new truck will be “Endurance,” and the name of Lordstown will be on the back of every truck. He said the name recognizes the workforce of Lordstown as well as the type of person who would be driving it.
The estimated cost is around $50,000, and Lordstown Motors says it already has preorders for 6,000.
Burns plans to meet with the UAW soon and expects to make trucks before the end of 2020. He admits that the project has gotten tremendous help from the state.
State Senator Michael Rulli has taken a test drive and is convinced.
“The acceleration of these vehicles is nothing like you could experience, and the stopping is even better,” he said. “This is a serious product. This could change the way we look at driving for the rest of our existence.”
Congressman Tim Ryan also expressed optimism for the plant’s future.
“There’s a lot of heartbreak around the community, and this is a huge bump for us,” Ryan said.
Lordstown has been a great place to make cars. Burns hopes it won’t have to worry anymore from model to model.
“You know, we’re starting with the first full-size pickup truck. Our goal is to have an entire fleet of different types of vehicles — all electrification,” he said.
Initially, Burns said 400 jobs will be created at the plant but more are coming, and he plans to ultimately run three shifts with about 5,000 workers.
“We didn’t buy this big plant to just have 400 employees. We plan to increase to have three shifts,” he said.
Watch the video below to see the full press conference.