General Motors Co. said it is discussing the sale of its Lordstown, Ohio, assembly complex to Workhorse Group Inc. and an affiliated business, which would lead to electric-vehicle production at the now-idle plant. If an agreement is reached, the new affiliated business would acquire the plant and Workhorse would hold a minority interest in the new business.
More specific terms were not revealed. But, GM noted that, work could resume immediately to prepare for new production programs there.
Workhorse is a Cincinnati-based designer and manufacturer of battery-electric vehicles including trucks, aircraft, and drones, as well as fleet-monitoring systems. Workhorse reportedly is a finalist for a $5-billion U.S. Postal Service fleet-replacement contract.
Commenting on the Lordstown development, Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes stated: "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.
"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," Burns added.
General Motors established the Lordstown, Ohio, complex in 1955, and operated it until March 6 of this year. The complex consisted of three operations — Vehicle Assembly, the Metal Center, and Paint Shop. The plant had mainly been a Chevrolet production center, including the Vega/Monza, Cavalier, Cobalt, and Cruze. Formerly, it built Chevrolet and GMC vans products, too.
GM’s decision last November to close Lordstown and three other operations in Michigan, Maryland, and Ontario has been roundly criticized by political and labor leaders. The United Auto Workers union and GM have been discussing the effects of changing market conditions on GM employment levels, and those discussions now will include the potential deal with Workhorse, the automaker stated.
"We remain committed to growing manufacturing jobs in the U.S., including in Ohio, and we see this development as a potential win-win for everyone," stated Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO. "Workhorse has innovative technologies that could help preserve Lordstown's more than 50-year tradition of vehicle assembly work."