LORDSTOWN, OH—General Motors Co. is in discussions to sell its idled assembly plant here to Workhorse Group Inc., a manufacturer of electric vehicles.
If the deal goes through, Workhorse would use the complex to build a commercial electric pickup. The company would also hire 400 workers, who would be members of the United Auto Workers.
“This potential agreement creates a positive outcome for all parties involved and will help solidify the leadership of Workhorse’s role in the EV community,” said Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes.
In November 2018, General Motors stunned the nation by announcing that it will cut 15 percent of its salaried workforce and idle multiple assembly plants in the US and Canada, including the factory in Lordstown. The last day of production there was March 6, 2019.
For its part, the UAW is less enthusiastic about the deal. “The UAW’s position is unequivocal,” says Terry Dittes, vice president and director of the UAW-GM department. “General Motors should assign a product to the Lordstown facility and continue operating it.”
Dittes noted that a federal lawsuit filed by the UAW over the closing of the Lordstown, Baltimore and Warren, MI, plants is pending, “and the UAW will continue its effort to protect the contractual rights of its members at these locations,” he said.
GM said it has been in discussions with the UAW since November about the future of the Lordstown plant.
“We remain committed to growing manufacturing jobs in the U.S., including Ohio, and we see this development as a potential win-win for everyone,” says GM CEO Barra.