Workhorse, an American commercial vehicle maker, actually only owns a ten percent stake in the company that wants to purchase the Lordstown plant. That company, the recently incorporated Lordstown Motors Corp., was started up by former Workhorse CEO Steve Burns and plans to build a version of the plug-in hybrid Workhorse W-15 concept pickup at the Lordstown plant.
“We are impressed with the Lordstown facility, and we have had great support from Workhorse, our technology partner and strategic partner, as well as General Motors,” Burns told The Detroit News in an e-mailed statement this week. “Our name, Lordstown Motors Corp., reflects the depth of the commitment we will make to the plant, the community and the state of Ohio once this deal is completed. We have started investor outreach, which is the next step toward launching our battery-electric commercial pickup.”
But while Workhorse itself isn’t planning on using the Lordstown plant for anything, the company is hopeful that its relation to Lordstown Motors Corp. will benefit it. Workhorse is currently one of half a dozen companies trying to win the contract to build electric delivery vehicles for the United States Postal Service, and by having access to the Lordstown plant via Lordstown Motors Corp., it thinks this may prop the company’s image up in the eye of the USPS. If Workhorse wins the USPS contract, it plans to build the electric postal vehicles at its existing plant in Indiana.
“From the beginning, we viewed what we’ll call as access to the Lordstown facility as a potential competitive advantage to further enable us to win the postal service contract, primarily just because of its size and so on, its ability to push through vehicles out of that plant. Not to mention, they’ve got 50-plus years of experience on how to build vehicles in that facility,” Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes told reporters during the company’s recent Q2 earnings call.
“We believe that combining our IP with the historic GM Lordstown facility will provide Workhorse with the greatest benefit in monetizing its pickup truck technology,” Hughes added. “‘In the end, we believe this will be the proverbial win-win,”
Workhorse reported a $37 million loss in Q2 on sales of only $6,000, down $171,000 year-over-year. The company’s financial standing has some questioning whether or not Workhorse or the company it has a minority stake in, Lordstown Motors Corp., have the means to purchase the former GM production site.