Auto maker GM announced Thursday that indeed – as President Trump tweeted in May – the Lordstown facility in Ohio would be sold and reopened to manufacturer the Workhorse electric vehicle called the Endurance. GM declared their intent to idle the plant a year ago, and shut the lights out on March 6th after 52 years of business.
“GREAT NEWS FOR OHIO! Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, who informed me that, subject to a UAW agreement etc., GM will be selling their beautiful Lordstown Plant to Workhorse, where they plan to build Electric Trucks…” the President tweeted May 8th.
GREAT NEWS FOR OHIO! Just spoke to Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, who informed me that, subject to a UAW agreement etc., GM will be selling their beautiful Lordstown Plant to Workhorse, where they plan to build Electric Trucks. GM will also be spending $700,000,000 in Ohio…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2019
The next day Trump doubled-down on his claim at a Florida rally. Team Trump shared the news and the video, “Another BIG announcement for @realDonaldTrump’s “JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” agenda!#Lordstown #OhioForTrump.”
— Team Trump (@TeamTrump) May 9, 2019
On Thursday, November 7th, the formal announcement arrived:
Lordstown Motors Corp. (LMC), a new original equipment manufacturer (OEM), today announced the acquisition of the GM manufacturing complex in Lordstown, Ohio. The move paves the way for LMC to begin production of the Endurance pickup truck, the industry’s first all-electric pickup truck purpose-built for fleets starting in late 2020.
“We are committed to the people of Lordstown, we will locate our headquarters in the Lordstown plant, and we plan to build the Endurance pickup truck utilizing experienced workers who helped produce millions of vehicles in this very same plant,” said Steve Burns, LMC CEO.
The 6.2 million square-foot Lordstown factory is a fully-equipped automotive plant that has produced over 16 million vehicles to date.
“The quality and precision of the production robotics and equipment in the Lordstown facility is evident,” said Rich Schmidt, Chief Production Officer, Lordstown Motors, and former Director of Manufacturing, Tesla, Inc. “Our team feels this is a factor to help us hit the ground running in building the Endurance pickup truck.”
As recently as mid-October, the United Auto Workers union was still trying to work out a deal with GM to keep the Lordstown plant operating. They were unsuccessful. Less than month later, Workhorse Group Inc. and GM completed the deal to hand the plant over.
Political rivals have used the Lordstown closure as an example of President Trump’s failed economic policies. At the Democratic Debate in Westerville last month, candidate Pete Buttigieg stated, “Places like Lordstown, Ohio—where auto plants have closed—are examples of the broken promises this president has made to workers. Workers deserve a president who will keep their promises and put them back to work. #DemDebate.”
Places like Lordstown, Ohio—where auto plants have closed—are examples of the broken promises this president has made to workers. Workers deserve a president who will keep their promises and put them back to work. #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/6V3i0faPGr
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) October 16, 2019
CNN claimed, “As details emerged Thursday about the tentative United Auto Workers agreement with General Motors, one thing became clear: The shuttered GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio, that President Donald Trump hoped to save will stay closed for good.”
Constant Trump-critic Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) shared a clip from a documentary about Lordstown when he tweeted, “@realDonaldTrump promised workers in Ohio that he’d bring back jobs. Then GM closed its plant in #Lordstown and he did nothing to help. He’s failed on that promise and has failed workers in Lordstown as well as all over the country.” He further accused the President of standing idly by while betraying workers at Lordstown and throughout the United States.
Watch a clip of Sherrod in the new documentary about the Lordstown plant and the devastating effect of Trump’s broken promises → pic.twitter.com/58O6WGnF8X
— Sherrod Brown (@SherrodBrown) July 26, 2019
Ohio Strong Action PAC’s Mike Gibbons was involved in the Lordstown sale, and his organization has been trumpeting the President’s successes. In just one of many Facebook posts on the economy Gibbons notes, “Promises made, promise kept. President Trump is making an environment where America’s economy can shine. His opponents would have us go back to the failed policies on the last administration.”
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