Donald Trump tweeted today that GM would be selling its recently shuttered Lordstown, Ohio plant to Workhorse to build electric trucks.
Trump said he spoke to GM CEO Mary Barra, who told him of the impending deal. We’ve reached out to Workhorse for confirmation and further details, and we’ll update if we hear anything back.
Update: GM sent out a press release saying that it is “in discussions” with Workhorse “and an affiliated, newly formed entity” to sell the plant. The release notes that “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.”
Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes said if the purchase goes through, the plant would produce a commercial electric pickup as its first vehicle.
The president also tweeted that GM plans on spending $700 million in Ohio in three separate locations, though he didn’t add any further details.
Workhorse’s website was down but its stock is up over 40% as of this writing.
GREAT NEWS FOR OHIO! 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. GM will also be spending $700,000,000 in Ohio…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019
Workhorse started production of its all-electric NGEN-100 delivery van last October. In February, DHL announced it would add 63 of the electric vans to its fleet this year.
GM in Ontario
Meanwhile, in Canada, GM and Canada’s largest auto worker union reached a deal to “partly rescue” an Ontario auto plant, Reuters reports.
The plant, which is located in Oshawa, Ontario, would be turned into a parts-sampling facility, a source said. Speaking under the condition of anonymity, the source said:
“Oshawa stays open. It’s a small foot in the door, but it stays open.”
This is certainly very interesting on the back of Ford’s investment in Rivian for electric pickups.
Terms of the sale of the plant — or if there’s any joint venture — weren’t disclosed at time of publishing but it would be surprising if the 100-person Workhorse company that had a market cap of $70M would be purchasing the plant outright or even leasing it on its own. Therefore it would seem that there was either some kind of venture with GM or external help for Workhorse.
As for Donald Trump touting electric truck production, we’ll take it. Does it say a lot that we needed to follow up with Workhorse and GM to ask for a confirmation?
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