DETROIT – General Motors said it has sold the Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio after idling at the plant March 8.
GM sold the 6.2 million square foot facility to an investment group called Lordstown Motors, which is supported by electric truck manufacturer Workhorse Group.
The amount of the sale is not disclosed nor is it a start date for production.
Lordstown Motors said it will build the Endurance electric pickup using components licensed from Workhorse. Endurance is designed for fleet sales, the company says, and is a lightweight, four-wheel drive vehicle with a low center of gravity.
Endurance is the latest electric pickup in the works. Tesla will debut its electric pickup called "Cybertruck" November 21. Rivian builds an electric truck due near the turn of the year. GM has said they will invest $ 3 billion in Detroit-Hamtramck to build an electric pickup and other electric trucks, and possibly revive the Hummer brand there.
Lordstown Motors said it is committed to the people of Lordstown.
"We will be locating our headquarters in the Lordstown facility, and we plan to build Endurance pickup with experienced workers who helped produce millions of cars in this very same facility," said Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns.  Sears and Kmart store closures: 51 Sears, 45 km places to shut down See list
Chicken recall: More than £ 2 million recalled, may be contaminated with metal  In a statement, GM said it is "committed to future investment and job growth in Ohio and we believe LMC's plan to launch Endurance electric pickups has the potential to create a significant number of jobs and help the Lordstown area grow into a electrification production hub. "
Workhorse also released a press release late Thursday describing details of the intellectual property license agreement it has with Lordstown Motors.
None of the companies indicated Thursday the number of jobs and when hiring or production would begin. But GM has said the company would create around 450 jobs.
Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes said it appreciated "GM's acceptance of our combined proposal and believes it represents the best opportunity to keep production in Lordstown. We look forward to collaborating in the future as we close this transaction and explore further production opportunities at the plant. "
Workhorse Group, based in Cincinnati, is one of five finalists to win a lucrative US $ 6.3 billion contract to build 180,000 next-generation mail delivery vehicles.
GM is still looking to build a battery cell plant in the Lordstown area that will create around 1,000 jobs, it says.
"Nothing is ever going to replace the 5,000 GM plant and all spinoff jobs," said Tim O & # 39 ; Hara, UAW Local 1112 President. "For the Mahoning Valley, any job is a good job, but we don't know what jobs will pay and how many will be offered. If this turns out to be union jobs, it will be good for the valley from that aspect. "
End of GM at Lordstown
GM had built Chevrolet Cruze compact car at Lordstown. In November 2018, GM said it would idle for the plant along with three other plants in the United States: Detroit-Hamtramck, Warren Transmission and Baltimore Transmission.
UAW had hoped during the negotiations to bring new products to the transfer plants and Lordstown to build. But GM only agreed to invest in Detroit-Hamtramck to build electric vehicles. The others remained closed.
The reaction to the news is mixed among former Lordstown workers.
"Needless to say we're heartbroken," said Mike Yakim, who worked in Lordstown until he was transferred to GM's Lansing Delta Township a few months ago. "It's the last nail in the coffin of Lordstown and the Mahoning Valley."
But former UAW Local 1112 President Dave Green said, "I feel bad for the people who are left, and my hope to move forward is that it can grow because there is a significant cry from 4,500 jobs outside the community. I is happy that something will be there and that it is not empty. "
Since the construction of the last Cruze in March, approximately 1,400 Lordstown workers have been transferred to other GM plants around the country, but almost 400 of them they rejected transfers and remain in the Lordstown area, O & # 39; Hara said.
Earlier Thursday, the GM management met with "hundreds" of former Lordstown workers still in the area, O & # 39; Hara said.  O & # 39; Hara said that neither GM nor Lordstown Motors have met with the union and that details remain outlined when Lordstown Motors will begin tooling the plant, hiring and starting production. It is also unknown whether the jobs will be linked.
"If they are going to be union representative, will we want Local 1112 to be their negotiating agent when the time comes, "said O & # 39; Hara. "We don't want the local to disappear, and that was a fear for us after the contract was concluded."
Follow Jamie L. LaReau on Twitter: @jlareauan