GM Sells Former Chevrolet Cruze Ohio Plant to Lordstown Motors EV Truck Startup

The widely politicized plant in Lordstown, Ohio will now build a new line of electric trucks and possibly the Postal Service's new EV.

Lordstown Ohio Assembly
Getty Images 2018

After lengthy negotiations between General Motors and the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union that led to one of the longest countrywide strikes in the automaker’s history, GM confirmed that it finally sold its widely politicized Lordstown, Ohio manufacturing plant to electric-truck startup Lordstown Motors, reports Bloomberg.

Specific details surrounding the sale weren’t immediately released, but stock for Workhorse Group Inc., one of the companies closely associated with Lordstown Motors, skyrocketed 27% after news of the deal was announced, closing at $3.13 per share Thursday. According to the report, Workhorse is currently among the bidders for the U.S. Postal Service's plug-in electric truck contract, which if acquired, could transfer upwards of 6,000 vehicle orders to Lordstown Motors for production at the Ohio plant.

Steve Burns, CEO of Lordstown Motors, plans to convert the plant to support the manufacturing of a new line of electric trucks. Lordstown Motors would build its own all-new EV pickup called the Endurance at the plant while keeping the possible deal for the mail truck in the backburner until it is confirmed.

Reportedly, Burns aims to work closely with the UAW to secure jobs for the workers there to assemble those new trucks. Aiding the company is a team of seasoned electric vehicle executives, such as department heads from Fisker's succeeding company, Karma Automotive LLC, and production chief Rick Schmidt is also the former manufacturing chief for Tesla Motors.

For the past several months, General Motors was deep in the process of hashing out a new contract with the UAW, in which the future of the Lordstown Assembly plant played a great deal. It was formerly responsible for the production of nearly all of Chevrolet’s compact cars as of recent, but even as some hinted that GM could build electric pickup trucks there, the automaker did not show any intentions of keeping the plant from the beginning.

Eventually, a source close to the matter confirmed to The Drive that the automaker would sell its plant and build an all-new electric pickup truck (possibly the Silverado) at different, brand-new facilities. Now, those plans have been finalized.