Lordstown Motors is now the plant’s owner and hopes to start production of an electric pickup next year.
It’s the end of an era for Ohio’s Mahoning Valley. After years of uneasy feelings inside the Lordstown plant about its future with General Motors, the automaker said Thursday it had completed the sale to electric truck startup Lordstown Motors.
Financials of the deal weren’t disclosed, but LMC says it hopes to put its first electric pickup, called the Endurance, into production next year.
GM said in its statement the automaker is “committed to future investment and job growth in Ohio,” and said, “We believe LMC’s plan to launch the Endurance electric pickup has the potential to create a significant number of jobs and help the Lordstown area grow into a manufacturing hub for electrification.”
GM still plans to potentially build a battery-cell production facility in the area that will create new UAW-represented jobs, though it will hardly replace the thousands who once built cars at the Lordstown facility. The plant remained a sticking point throughout UAW and GM negotiations that resulted in a strike that lasted over one month. In the end, the union accepted an agreement that closed the Lordstown plant after GM idled the factory this past March.
LMC is a new entity with former Workhorse head Steve Burns in charge. Workhorse is related to LMC and the former will share intellectual property and electric-drive systems, he told Bloomberg in an interview Thursday (the link was down at the time this article was published). The electric systems are a tad pie-in-the-sky, however.
Burns said the Endurance electric pickup will feature four in-wheel motors that are far from ready for mass production. However, he noted the coming days and months ahead will be all about securing financing and investments to turn the Lordstown plant into a 21st-century facility ready to churn out zero-emissions pickups. Eventually, he wants UAW workers to staff the site, too.
The company does have a rather major lifeline hovering above it, however. Associated company Workhorse is a finalist to build new mail delivery trucks for the US Postal Service. If it wins, the new plug-in hybrid mail trucks could be made at the Lordstown facility.