General Motors might sell their Lordstown, Ohio factory to an electric pickup startup.
Frankly, we’re a little surprised to hear GM is once again in talks to sell its Lordstown facility. The plant is set to be shut down later this year with GM transferring employees to other factories out of state. GM already turned down a private offer to keep the plant open and building Chevy Cruzes for a year, which seemed like an odd decision, and now we’re told that they’re considering another private sale to an electric pickup startup.
Workhorse Group is looking to get in on the ground floor of the electric pickup revolution. Their prototype is called the W-15 and it straddles the line between a true electric vehicle and a hybrid. It has an 80-mile range on its battery and uses an internal combustion engine as a “range extender.”
According to the Associated Press, the Cincinnati-based company is in talks with GM to purchase Lordstown and also “hold a minority stake in a new venture.” The facility would be used to make their commercial pickup trucks, however, we don’t have any info on what this mysterious new venture could be.
Under the deal, the plant would initially only employ a few hundred workers, but if Workhorse lands a contract to build the next generation of electric USPS vans it could grow to as many as 3,000 workers over the next few years.
As exciting as this sounds for Ohio, the news was not met kindly by Lordstown workers. Many of them have relocated out of state in order to preserve their pension and seniority, with the Detroit Free Press reporting that 670 workers have already left.
It might also be a bit too soon to celebrate either way. Jalopnik reports that these talks are very much in their early stages with nothing set in stone. “At this point, we’re in roughly preliminary discussions,” said Workhorse spokesperson Tom Colton.