In the aftermath of GM’s announcement to close the Lordstown, Ohio, auto assembly facility, President Trump worked earnestly to get GM to sell the facility and save jobs for the region. Today President Trump and GM CEO Mary Barra announce the likely sale to Workhorse Group pending UAW union approval.
Washington (AFP) – General Motors Wednesday announced plans to invest $700 million in Ohio and to sell a shuttered plant to a company that makes electric trucks, drawing cheers from President Donald Trump who has assailed the US automaker for cutting American jobs.
“GREAT NEWS FOR OHIO!” Trump tweeted, revealing the details ahead of the company’s official announcement.
Shortly after Trump’s tweet, GM confirmed it is in discussions with Workhorse, a Cincinnati-based company that focuses on producing electric delivery vehicles, to sell its plant in Lordstown, Ohio. The factory employed about 1,400 workers prior to ceasing production in March.
CEO Mary Barra said in a statement GM will “remain committed to growing manufacturing jobs in the US, including in Ohio, and we see this development as a potential win-win for everyone.” (read more)
In March President Trump was putting pressure on Mary Barra to find a buyer or allow a long-term lease to another company:
It’s likely Barra reached out to POTUS today to help make the pre-announcement public because she needs to put pressure on the intransigent local UAW to agree to the sale terms.
Tim O’Hara, vice president of the United Auto Workers union at the Lordstown plant, said “the announcement dashes any hopes that workers had about staying in the area and continuing careers with GM. Many will be forced to transfer in order to preserve seniority and pension eligibility,” O’Hara said.
The Workhorse Group has been developing electric trucks, vans and drones. With a purchase of the Lordstown plant, Workhorse would be moving forward with plans to have a facility for the production of electric-powered vans later this year.