GM: Progress Made Toward Lordstown Purchase, $25 Million Not Part Of Deal

[Kabir Bhatia / WKSU]
The Lordstown GM plant has been shuttered since March. [Kabir Bhatia / WKSU]

Progress has been made for electric vehicle maker Workhorse and a third party to buy the General Motors Lordstown plant, a GM spokesman says, but the $25 million investment touted by Vice President Mike Pence July 30 is not part of the purchase.

GM spokesman Jim Cain says that money came from investors to help Workhorse with the work the startup company already has contracts for, not expansion.

"What really sets them apart from other EV [electric vehicle] startups is they've got customers and they've got this order bank," Cain says. "Now with this extra money, they're going to be able to satisfy those customers. But the money was never really for the Lordstown plant, it's completely separate."

General Motors does not have a financial stake in the new company, Cain says, which is in talks with GM and Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group, an upstart maker of electric trucks and small aircraft with around 100 employees.

"Workhorse is going to be an investor in this new company that's acquiring Lordstown and they're going to license their electric vehicle technology to the startup," Cain says. "But it's really separate from anything to do with GM."

The new company will soon be a legally incorporated entity and its name will be released along with an announcement about Lordstown, Cain says.

But there is no timeline for the announcement so far and Cain said he had no "special insight" into ongoing negotiations between GM and the International United Autoworkers. The contract between the UAW and GM expired Sept. 14 but the Lordstown plant has been idle since March, with hundreds of workers waiting for answers and hundreds more cutting their losses and taking jobs elsewhere

Workhorse and the Youngstown Area Chamber of Commerce did not respond to ideastream's request for comment.

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