General Motors is currently in discussion to sell one of its recently closed North American factories to struggling EV startup Workhorse Group. The Ohio-based startup has had a hard time the past year trying to launch an all-electric pickup truck in the American auto market.
You may recall that US President Donald Trump has spent the better part of this past year chastising the American car company over their choice to close the Lordstown, OH plant, especially after receiving something of a bailout. In fact Trump has said that GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra made a “big mistake,” an intimation that changed to rejoicing on Wednesday upon hearing the news that GM has begun sales negotiations.
While some report that the deal has already been finalized, GM holds that they are still in talks with the Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group. Specifically, the automaker celebrates this as an opportunity to “bring significant production and electric vehicle assembly jobs to the plant.”
Indeed, should this deal go through, it could reinvigorate the 6 million square feet factory that sits on 900 acres. Of course, it could also restore at least some of the 1,700 hourly jobs lost when GM shut down in March.
As such, Barra comments, “The U.S. economy and our core business are strong, so we can expand our commitment to U.S. manufacturing and Ohio and create job opportunities for our employees.”
In her statement, she goes on to say, “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.” She also adds that this move could help to bring even more jobs to the US.
Workhorse Group, of course, was originally founded as a simple commercial van manufacturer in 1998. Then, in 2005, the company was purchased by trucking giant Navistar who then sold Workhorse to AMP Electric Vehicles in 2013. AMP retrofits combustion engine cars with new EV powertrains.
From here, Workhorse has revealed it had received in excess of 5,000 pre-orders for a new hybrid version of the W-15 pickup truck, with an electric option of at least 200 miles per charge. This means taking over operations at the old GM plant could be a very big thing both immediately and in the long run.