General Motors CEO Mary Barra will now meet with members of Ohio’s congressional delegation in Washington to discuss what will happen next, with the executive scheduled to meet with Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown today. Additional members of the Ohio delegation were also expected to attend the meeting.
Details of the meeting are under wraps, but the GM Lordstown Complex will be the main topic of discussion. The senators will likely push Mary Barra to continue to invest in the Lordstown plant, echoing the desire of UAW leaders to persuade the automaker to assign a new product to the plant.
The 6.2 million square-foot GM Lordstown Complex spans over 905 acres, and at its production peak employed roughly 10,600 workers. However, just before its closure, the Lordstown plant employed just 1,600 workers towards the production of the Chevrolet Cruze. U.S. production of the Cruze ended in March. The plant operated for 53 years before it was idled.
Following the demise of the Cruze, nearly all of the 1,600 Lordstown workers were laid off. In the aftermath, President Trump put pressure on Mary Barra to continue to invest in the plant, while the UAW sued GM over the closure.
However, GM contends that market conditions have changed, and consumers are now focused on pickup trucks and SUVs, rather than the cars once produced in Lordstown.
Since the plant was idled, GM has transferred 700 Lordstown UAW workers to other GM plants. GM also says it intends to put the rest of the laid-off workers back on the payroll, and that impacted workers will have a job at GM in the future.
Last month, GM arranged a meeting of local elected officials and business leaders in Columbus, Ohio, to meet with EV-producer Workhorse Group Inc. Workhorse expressed interest in purchasing the Lordstown plant to build electric trucks, but no further progress has been made thus far.
Source: The Business Journal