Pence: Workhorse has secured money to buy idled Lordstown GM complex
By David Skolnick
Vice President Mike Pence said Workhorse Group Inc. and an affiliated entity trying to buy the General Motors Lordstown complex has secured the money needed to purchase the idled facility.
After a Tuesday groundbreaking of a Magna car seat plant in Lancaster, Ohio, Pence told the media: “Workhorse, I learned, just this week, secured the financing to move forward to keep jobs in that community [Lordstown], and we’re going to continue to look for ways to support that.”
In response to a question about the Lordstown shutdown, Pence said, “Well, as you know, after GM made that announcement, President [Donald] Trump made it clear that we wanted to see GM do better. We’re very pleased that they stepped forward.”
Pence added: “One of the things I think the American people admire about this president is he is, you know, he’s fighting every day for American jobs. And when we got word about Lords- town, I was around when the president picked up the phone and called GM and let [CEO] Mary Barra know that we want them to find a solution for that community and we’re encouraged about the progress, but we’re going to continue to stay directly engaged.”
Magna, a Canadian company, plans to hire 300 people after its new facility in Lancaster is built.
Magna’s Lordstown Seating Systems closed earlier this year in the wake of GM’s Lordstown closing, putting 120 employees out of work.
GM ended production of the Chevrolet Cruze at its 53-year-old Lordstown plant in March, eliminating the last 1,600 jobs left at the facility that employed about 4,500 in 2017.
GM in May confirmed a Trump tweet that it was in discussions with Workhorse, a Cincinnati-based electric vehicle company and an affiliated, newly formed entity to sell the Lordstown complex.
Details haven’t been revealed about the new company Workhorse has created that would be involved.
Workhorse obtained $25 million from private investors – $15 million on May 31 and $10 million June 6 – for general working capital and research and development, with none of the money going toward the purchase of the Lordstown facility.
Dave Green, former president of United Autoworkers Local 1112 at the Lordstown complex, declined to comment on Pence’s declaration that Workhorse has access to the capital necessary to purchase the empty plant.
Neither Tom Colton, spokesman for Gateway, a company that represents Workhorse, nor James Dignan, president and CEO of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, returned calls seeking comment on the announcement.