Workhorse, the electric vehicle developer, could be about to take over General Motors’ Lordstown, Ohio facility in a deal which may see the two companies form a joint venture.
This is according to a tweet by US President Donald Trump, whose comments appear to have pre-empted the deal and caught the two companies by surprise.
Trump tweeted: “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…
“…in 3 separate locations, creating another 450 jobs. I have been working nicely with GM to get this done. Thank you to Mary B, your GREAT Governor, and Senator Rob Portman. With all the car companies coming back, and much more, THE USA IS BOOMING!”
Mary Barra, GM’s chairwoman and CEO, subsequently issued a statement, reported by Forbes, in which she said: “We remain committed to growing manufacturing jobs in the US, including in Ohio, and we see this development as a potential win-win for everyone.
“Workhorse has innovative technologies that could help preserve Lordstown’s more than 50-year tradition of vehicle assembly work.”
Further comments and media reports would seem to suggest that the facility would be acquired by Workhorse, which would hold a minority stake in a new venture.
It is not clear who would own the rest, but GM is the obvious candidate.
GM has been increasing its investment in electric vehicles recently, last year becoming “the first company to use mass-production methods for autonomous and electric vehicles”.
The automotive giants produced 130 Chevrolet Bolt EV test vehicles at its Orion, Michigan plan.
Meanwhile, Workhorse has been developing its electric vehicles and testing them with United Parcel Services. In one test, the two companies used drones together with the vehicles to deliver parcels.
The Lordstown complex covers over 900 acres, and has produced more than 16 million vehicles since its establishment by GM in 1966. It also has on-site 3D printing facilities.