Since General Motors shuttered its Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant, effectively killing the Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan in the United States, both the United Auto Workers (UAW) union and President Donald Trump have been fairly upset. This, due to the loss of hundreds of good-paying jobs in a Trump-friendly region.
This morning, however, GM announced that it is in talks to sell the idled plant to electric truck and drone maker Workhorse Group Inc.
“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,” Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes said in a prepared statement. “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.”
Although the sale isn’t finalized, Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the announcement.
In a separate press release, the General revealed it will be spending $700 million to bring 450 new manufacturing jobs across three cities in Ohio.
Once the deal is finalized, work could begin immediately to transform the Lordstown plant into Workhorse’s commercial truck line.
The revelation proves just how badly GM didn’t want to bring the Lordstown plant — and its workers — back online. I mean, just because GM didn’t want to make and sell the Cruze in the U.S. anymore doesn’t mean the plant is worthless. Clearly it’s not, since Workhorse wants it and can begin getting it up to speed immediately.
It speaks volumes that GM would rather sell the plant to a company that will compete with it in the commercial electric truck market (following Barra’s confirmation that the carmaker is working on an all-electric truck) and start fresh in three other sites than reinvest in that plant and that workforce. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to why.