- President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday that GM would sell its Lordstown assembly factory in Ohio to Workhorse, an electric-truck maker.
- The Ohio factory had become a political issue in a state that was critical to Trump’s 2016 election.
- GM said it would provide additional details at a later time.
President Donald Trump appeared to scoop General Motors on Wednesday with news that the carmaker would sell its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant to the electric-truck maker Workhorse.
In a subsequent statement, GM said “discussions” with Workhorse and an “affiliated, newly formed entity” were ongoing.
“Upon final agreement, the entity, led by Workhorse founder Steve Burns, would acquire the facility. Workhorse would hold a minority interest in the new entity,” GM added.
“We remain committed to growing manufacturing jobs in the US., including in Ohio, and we see this development as a potential win-win for everyone,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in statement. “Workhorse has innovative technologies that could help preserve Lordstown’s more than 50-year tradition of vehicle assembly work.”
Lordstown Assembly was one of several facilities that were “unallocated” last year – auto-industry parlance for ending production, with no new vehicles planned for the factory.
The plant had been building the Cruze sedan, but amid flagging demand for four-doors in the US market, GM has reduced the workforce to a single shift.
“GREAT NEWS FOR OHIO!” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, who informed me that, subject to a UAW agreement etc., GM will be selling their beautiful Lordstown Plant to Workhorse, where they plan to build Electric Trucks.”
Trump added that GM would spend $700 million in the state, which was critical for the president’s election is 2016.
….in 3 separate locations, creating another 450 jobs. I have been working nicely with GM to get this done. Thank you to Mary B, your GREAT Governor, and Senator Rob Portman. With all the car companies coming back, and much more, THE USA IS BOOMING!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019
Workhorse is an Ohio-based manufacturer of electric delivery trucks and drones. The company has been financially challenged, according to reports, so it’s unclear how a purchase of the Lordstown factory would be financed.
GM and the other two major US automakers, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, are entering negotiations with the United Auto Workers on a new contract later this year. For that reason, GM was unable to officially shutter the plant.
The automaker had, however, sought to offer relocation to workers who would be out of a job with the factory deprived of a vehicle to build.