A tweet by President Donald Trump on Wednesday is breathing new life into the previously doomed Lordstown Chevy Cruze plant.
The newly planned investment in Ohio by General Motors will also extend to the Toledo Transmission plant, where production will be expanded for GM’s all-new 10-speed automatic transmission for trucks and SUVs.
"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 ....in 3 separate locations, creating another 450 jobs," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.
"I have been working nicely with GM to get this done. Thank you to Mary B, your GREAT Governor, and Senator Rob Portman. With all the car companies coming back, and much more, THE USA IS BOOMING!"
U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) spoke with Barra on Wednesday and said Toledo is one of the locations where GM would be investing new money.
“I just spoke with GM CEO Mary Barra who told me GM would invest an additional $700 million in Ohio at its Toledo, Parma and Moraine plants, which would create 450 new jobs," Portman said.
"She also told me that GM, subject to the approval of the UAW, is in negotiations to sell the Lordstown plant to the Workhorse Group to make commercial electric trucks. I also spoke with Dave Green, UAW Local 1112 president, about the news. My message to GM all along has been either to bring a new GM vehicle to the plant or to find a partner that will use this world-class facility so people can get back to work.
"I look forward to hearing more from Workhorse about its plans to bring jobs to Lordstown, and I’m hopeful that this news will benefit the workers there. I want to thank President Trump for his help in finding a positive solution for Lordstown. I will continue to work with GM, the UAW, and other key stakeholders on this matter in the coming weeks and months,” Portman said.
Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said he's excited for the investment and high-paying jobs coming to Toledo.
“This morning I received news from General Motors officials in Detroit that the company would be creating more than 450 manufacturing jobs in three Ohio cities, including Toledo, where our Powertrain Plant will expand production of its all-new 10-speed automatic transmission for trucks and SUVs,” Kapszukiewicz said.
“This means more good, high-paying jobs for Toledo. We are excited General Motors has decided to invest further in Toledo and I want to thank GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra for this expansion, which will help our community continue to flourish. The Powertrain Plant opened in 1957 and has received more than $1 billion in investment since 2011.
"It consistently receives awards and recognitions for productivity and environmental excellence, and has a long-standing reputation of quality. This investment will continue that tradition.”
According to GM, Toledo Transmission will expand production of the company’s all-new 10-speed automatic transmission for trucks and SUVs.
GM issued a statement saying it was "in discussions" to sell the plant to both Workhorse and "an affiliated, newly formed entity."
Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes said the first vehicle to be produced at the plant would be a commercial electric pickup truck "blending Workhorse’s technology with Lordstown’s manufacturing expertise."
"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," Hughes said.
State Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) hailed the news of the 450 new jobs in Ohio at multiple facilities including the Toledo Transmission Plant.
“I’m excited GM will be bringing new jobs to Toledo,” said Sobecki. “This investment reinforces the idea that the best workers in the world come from Ohio. This investment creates new opportunities for people to achieve the promise of living the American Dream — right here at home, in Ohio.”
In addition to Toledo, GM confirmed the addition of 450 new manufacturing jobs at already-existing facilities in Parma and Moraine, along with 1,800 planned jobs in Michigan and Kentucky.
According to GM, the DMAX plant in Moraine is expanding diesel engine production for GM’s all-new heavy-duty pickups, which go on sale later this year. and the Parma Metal Center will expand production of stamped parts and deploy laser cell welding technology.
Prior to Trump's tweet, the future looked grim for the plant in Lordstown, near Youngstown.
The last compact car rolled off the line March 6 at General Motors' massive assembly plant, as the automaker began moving toward its future while workers wondered about theirs.
GM previously announced plans eliminate all 1,700 hourly positions, perhaps for good, at the factory near Youngstown, the first of five North American auto plants that it intends to shut down by early next year.