The Cincinnati man who bought the massive GM Lordstown plant is in fundraising mode as he prepares to manufacture electric pick-up trucks at the plant.
Steve Burns admits there's a lot to do before he can start making the trucks in November 2020. He still needs to line up more investors and customers.
Still, the interest appears to be there, he says. "We commissioned a large accounting firm to validate the market and it's actually bigger than we thought." Even before he bought the six-million-square-foot plant on 700 acres he had $300 million worth of orders for electric pick-ups.
That was when Burns was still running Workhorse. Companies like Duke Energy and cities like Orlando wanted to buy them for their fleets. He's taking online orders for the trucks now.
Burns says he is hiring engineers and next September will bring 400 hourly workers on board. He's vying for the Post Office contract to make electric vehicles. Burns says if he gets it, he would hire up to 5,000 workers.
Lordstown Motors is also laying the groundwork for batteries. "We're setting up our own battery pack factory inside of our factory, so kind of like that Tesla gigafactory," Burns says. It's a lithium-ion battery and subassembly plant near Reno, Nevada.
The GM Lordstown factory went dark in March when the company stopped making the Chevy Cruze.