The former GM Lordstown plant in Ohio has certainly been through the wringer since General Motors pulled the plug on Chevy Cruze production. With recent news that Lordstown Motors – the EV startup that purchased the plant from The General – has filed for bankruptcy, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra admits that the closure of the Lordstown plant could’ve been handled better.
During an interview, Barra remarked on the closure of the Lordstown plant, which took place after General Motors ceased production of the Chevy Cruze in 2019. Although the plant was unable to efficiently manufacture future GM vehicles, Barra states that the Detroit-based automaker should’ve offered all Lordstown employees jobs at other plants, as there were plenty of alternative jobs available.
It’s worth noting that Barra stated that a majority of Lordstown employees did end up finding new jobs at various other GM plants. Through its joint venture with LG Energy Solution, GM also chose to build its first Ultium Cells battery manufacturing plant in the region as well.
Looking forward, it’s uncertainly what the future holds for the Lordstown plant. Electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors just recently filed for bankruptcy, and is suing Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn for fraudulent conduct and misleading promises.
Even before that, the Lordstown plant has working through a turbulent few years. Lordstown Motors purchased the plant from GM at a discounted rate, while General Motors received roughly eight million shares of the EV startup. However, following a short-seller report in early 2021 that eventually lead to cofounder and CEO Steve Burns resigning, General Motors sold its remaining stake in Lordstown.
After the dust settled on that fiasco, Lordstown Motors began acquisition talks with Foxconn, who eventually ended up purchasing the plant for $230 million, with an additional $50 million investment in the electric vehicle manufacturer. The acquisition was completed in May 2022.
Now, the current legal situation has the Lordstown plant’s future clouded in uncertainty once again.