In a series of tweets overnight, US President Donald Trump revealed GM is in discussions to sell its "beautiful" Lordstown, Ohio factory to Workhorse, a company looking to produce an electrified pickup truck.
Later the automaker confirmed it's in discussions about selling the facility to Workhorse and "an affiliated, newly formed entity", with Workhorse holding a minority stake in the plant.
"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,” Mary Barra, GM's CEO, said in a prepared statement.
“Workhorse has innovative technologies that could help preserve Lordstown’s more than 50-year tradition of vehicle assembly work.”
According to President Trump, the deal is subject to approval by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, which seems to be unimpressed by this latest development.
Terry Dittes, UAW vice president, told the media, “The UAW’s position is unequivocal: General Motors should assign a product to the Lordstown facility and continue operating it".
The Lordstown plant produced the Chevrolet Cruze until March this year. Since then it has been idle, as was widely expected to be formally shuttered during the upcoming round of negotiations with the UAW.
“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," Duane Hughes, the Workhorse CEO, said.
In 2017 Workhorse unveiled the W-15 plug-in hybrid pickup (top) with an 80km EV range and 500km total range. Production was slated to start in late 2018, although none have been produced so far.
The company is currently based in Cincinatti, Ohio, although its website doesn't seem to be functioning properly.