General Motors sells Ohio assembly plant to electric-vehicle startup


Lordstown Motors plans to hire about 400 workers to build electric pickup trucks starting in 2020. The company will prioritize workers who were let go from the GM facility, which closed in March. It’s promising union representation and competitive wages. Neither party disclosed the sale price. (Reuters, New York Times)

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Talking point: The announcement comes two weeks after GM workers ended a six-week strike across the U.S., which included unsuccessful negotiations to keep the Ohio plant open and salvage the 3,000 jobs at the facility. The company instead said it will build a electric-battery factory that would create 1,000 jobs in the town. The facility’s new ownership is symbolic of a broad shift in the auto industry that’s also being felt in Southern Ontario. While GM announced the closure of its Oshawa, Ont. plant last year, laying off almost 3,000 workers, the company is focusing resources on a technology centre nearby in Markham, where it’s developing self-driving technology and entertainment systems for vehicles. The higher-tech businesses aren’t employing as many people as their legacy predecessors, however. To try and fill the gap in Oshawa, the provincial government launched a centre to retrain laid-off GM workers for new jobs in the sector.