Reports: GM Lordstown Plant Has New Owner In Cincinnati Entrepreneur

Nov 7, 2019

Multiple media sources are reporting Lordstown Motors owner, Cincinnati's Steve Burns, plans to make electric trucks for fleets at GM's plant in Lordstown, which shuttered in March.

In May, Burns told WVXU he already has a total of 6,000 orders from Duke Energy, Ryder, the city of Orlando and others. "Pick-up trucks are the No. 1 vehicle in the country and a large percentage of those are sold to fleets and there is not an electric pick-up truck on the market," Burns says.

Workhorse, Steve Burns' former company, first unveiled its electric pick-up truck at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show.

These would be "rugged, no frills, utilitarian, get-the-job-done work trucks," says Burns.

Right now he's raising money to retrofit the 6.2-million-square-foot Lordstown factory.

Media outlets like Bloomberg and Mahoning Matters were the first to report the news.

Burns told Bloomberg the new electric truck will be called the Endurance. "It will be built with four motors -- one for each wheel -- to deliver all-wheel drive. It will have fewer moving parts than existing pickups, which could translate to lower repair costs for fleet operators. It also will have outlets that enable owners to run power tools off the battery."

Burns told WVXU he would hire hundreds of laid-off UAW workers if he can reach a deal with the union.

Mahoning Matters reports manufacturing may begin at the end of 2020.

GM had this to say:

"GM is committed to future investment and job growth in Ohio and we believe LMC's plan to launch the Endurance electric pickup has the potential to create a sugnificant number of jobs and help the Lordstown area grow into a manufacturing hub for electrification."

Workhorse, Burns' former company, is one of five finalists to make an electric vehicle for the U.S. Postal Service. Fox News reports the Post Office will decide later this year who will get the $6 billion deal. If Workhorse gets the contract, Burns says three shifts a day at Lordstown would be needed to manufacture them.

Burns also won't rule out making SureFly personal electric helicopters in Lordstown. He says the pick-up trucks and the SureFly use some of the same parts and materials. "If we have them for the pick-up trucks, it might make sense to make the helicopters there as well, but that hasn't been determined."

Workhorse makes electric delivery trucks at the former Navistar plant in Union City, Indiana. Burns also won't rule out moving some of that production to Lordstown.

"There are a lot of synergies there. If we build up Lordstown to make electric vehicles at scale, we hope to do a lot of things with Workhorse and other companies."