General Motors is seeking to sell one of its Ohio plants to an upstart truck manufacturer and investing $700 million in three other facilities in the region, a move that could help appease critics who blasted the carmaker for choosing to close the Lordstown plant and shed up to 15,000 jobs.
Trump made the announcement on Twitter on Wednesday, noting that he had just spoken to CEO Mary Barra.
GM said it is in talks to sell the Lordstown plant to Workhorse Group Inc., a company seeking to build an electric pickup but one that has struggled financially, posting just $21,000 in revenue in the final months of 2018.
“We remain committed to growing manufacturing jobs in the U.S., including in Ohio, and we see this development as a potential win-win for everyone,” Barra said in a statement.
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Workhorse previously revamped its leadership, replacing founder Steve Burns with COO Duane Hughes. It also recently borrowed $35 million from hedge fund Marathon Asset Management.
“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,” Hughes said.
GM also said it was adding 450 jobs to manufacturing plants in Ohio, a decision the carmaker made because the “U.S. economy and our core business are strong.”
“We also expect to bring more jobs to the U.S. over time in support of the expected provisions” of the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada, according to Barra.
Known as the USMCA, the agreement has yet to be ratified by Congress.
Lawmakers including Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, previously criticized Barra and GM for opting to downsize operations in Ohio and layoff workers in Canada and the U.S.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Portman thanked Trump for his role said he was “hopeful we will see the
#Lordstown plant humming again.”
GM will expand operations in Ohio at plants in Toledo, Parma and Moraine.
The Moraine facility will manufacture the Detroit-based company’s new heavy-duty pickups. Toledo Transmission will produce the firm’s new 10-speed automatic transmission, and the Parma center will begin using lase cell welding technology.