General Motors is poised to sell the northeast Ohio factory that it’s closing to a little-known maker of electric pickups, President Donald Trump said Wednesday on Twitter.
While Trump has been known to mischaracterize these types of deals, the president claimed that GM CEO Mary Barra told him about the plan to sell the Lordstown, Ohio, factory to Workhorse Group.
GM said it’s “discussions” to sell the plant to an entity affiliated with Workhorse, which “could bring significant production and electric vehicle assembly jobs to the Mahoning Valley.”
GM announced in 2018 that the Lordstown plant would cease production as part of the automaker’s sweeping plan to kill most of its passenger cars. The Lordstown plant made the Chevrolet Cruze compact car, which is being discontinued.
The plant’s fate is ultimately subject to a new union contract between GM and the United Auto Workers, which represents the plant’s hourly employees.
Trump said on Twitter that the plant’s sale would be “subject to a UAW agreement.”
Trump – along with a bipartisan chorus of other political officials, including Democratic presidential contenders Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren – had criticized GM for announcing plans to shut the plant.
“With all the car companies coming back, and much more, THE USA IS BOOMING!” Trump said.
Workhorse said the Lordstown site could host production of a commercial electric pickup.
An investment by Workhorse would almost surely be substantially smaller than GM’s Lordstown operation at its peak, when the plant employed thousands of workers.
“This potential agreement creates a positive outcome for all parties involved and will help solidify the leadership of Workhorse’s role in the EV community,” Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes said in a statement.
Workhorse’s publicly traded stock rose 48.4% to $1.25 at 12:53 p.m.
Dave Green, a UAW representative in Ohio, declined to comment.
Cincinnati-based Workhorse, which makes electric pickups and software, had $763,000 in revenue in 2018, down from $10 million in 2017.
GM also plans to invest $700 million in three Ohio plants to create 450 jobs: locations in Toledo, Parma and Moraine.
“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,” Barra said in a statement.
Contributing: Jamie LaReau
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.