General Motors CEO Mary Barra delivered a blunt scenario to any laid-off Lordstown assembly plant worker: there isn’t going to be a new vehicle made there. At least, not a GM vehicle.
Barra made the comment during an interview with Reuters on Wednesday. The GM chief was also in Ohio to try and woo the state’s two U.S. Senators, Republican Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown, to support a potential sale of the Lordstown plant to electric-car startup Workhorse.
The potential Workhorse deal has been a punching bag for pundits after combing through the company’s balance sheet and its actual potential to operate at the massive facility. Barra dismissed any idea that the Workhorse sale talk is a PR stunt and said GM vetted numerous opportunities before honing in on a potential sale to a new company formed with Workhorse.
Meanwhile, Ohio’s senators haven’t been keen to the deal. The Vindicator, a local newspaper, reported Senator Brown, in particular, said “We want to see GM in this plant,” and called on Barra to allocate an electric car to the facility. Barra dismissed any idea of building an electric car in Ohio.
The Ohio congressional delegation had plenty of questions surrounding the potential Workhorse deal and walked away with only a few answers. The entire deal is still shrouded in mystery as Workhorse works to begin a new entity to purchase the plant. Essentially, the Lordstown plant buyer only exists on paper.
Workhorse itself undercut its potential a day before President Trump inaccurately tweeted GM had already sold the plant. GM later that day confirmed it was in discussions with Workhorse and had not finalized a deal, which would need the UAW’s blessing.
“Our existing capital resources will be insufficient to fund our operations through the first half of 2019,” Workhorse said in its most recent financial filing. “If we are not able to obtain additional financing and/or substantially increase revenue from sales, we will be unable to continue as a going concern.”
The latter portion translates to “we need funding, or we close up shop.”