The Lordstown, Ohio, automobile manufacturing plant that saw hundreds of workers laid off this year will reopen, but under a different owner. General Motors sold the plant to a startup company that plans to use the facility to build electric pickup trucks.
The startup, Lordstown Motors, will begin producing its Endurance pickup truck in late 2020.
"We are committed to the people of Lordstown, we will locate our headquarters in the Lordstown plant, and we plan to build the Endurance pickup truck utilizing experienced workers who helped produce millions of vehicles in this very same plant," Steve Burns, the CEO of Lordstown Motors, said in a news release.
The pickup truck will be the first vehicle to use a four-wheel-drive hub-motor system, which would lead to fewer breakdowns, less maintenance and less cost, according to the news release. The Endurance truck will also have an onboard power export, which would allow workers to run power tools from the truck without bringing a portable generator or running the truck.
The plant is 6.2 million square feet and produced more than 16 million vehicles under the previous owner.
"We're honored to have the opportunity to build electric vehicles in Lordstown because the people of Lordstown and the plant are and will be the history and future of the auto industry,” Burns said. “When the first Endurance electric pickup rolls off that line, it will be a great day for Lordstown, Ohio and America."
GM’s handling of the Lordstown plant became a subject of controversy this year when President Donald Trump urged the company to keep it running and shut down a plant overseas, instead. Gov. Mike DeWine also vowed to do everything in his power to keep the plant running.