The United Auto Workers union says it will fight hard for new product allocation throughout its contract negotiations with General Motors, which closed several US plants at the end of 2018 whilst giving new products to plants in Mexico in South Korea.
The UAW remains determined to have a new product allocated to the Lordstown Assembly Complex that GM idled earlier this year. It’s highly unlikely the union will win that fight, though, with GM already in talks with commercial vehicle company Workhorse to sell the facility. The UAW must first approve the Workhorse sale, however, so it will have some leverage throughout the negotiations.
With global automotive sales expected to dwindle in coming years and ride hailing and ride sharing services expected to become even more popular, GM and other major automotive companies are exercising caution when it comes to planning for the future. This is all happening at a time when automakers are also feeling pressure to develop costly electric and autonomous vehicles or risk being left behind by new competition from Silicon Valley and China.
The Vindicator believes that if Lordstown were to get a new product, it would be one of GM’s upcoming new electric models. GM is more likely to build its EVs in North America than abroad, it seems, as they would have higher profit margins than a mass-market product like the new Chevrolet Trailblazer, for example, and may need extra focus placed on it with regards to quality control.
GM’s contract with the UAW expires in September.