Trump Views Lordstown Motors Endurance at White House Event

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – President Donald Trump viewed Lordstown Motors Corp.’s Endurance electric pickup truck during a Monday morning event in Washington, D.C.  

Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns and two plant employees joined Trump; Peter Navarro, White House director of trade and manufacturing policy; U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-10 Ohio, at the event on the White House South Lawn. 

The White House press pool was called to gather at the Palm Doors just before 11 a.m. and was led to the South Lawn, where Trump was inspecting the 2021 Endurance, according to the White House pool report. 

“We’ve been working on this very long and very hard,” Trump said. “This is a really unique thing because the four wheels are – hub motor, hub motor – this is the only one that does this in the world. It has a lot of advantages.”

Lordstown Motors is now retrofitting the former GM plant to ramp up production of the Endurance for its 2021 debut. 

“Over the past few months, the Lordstown Endurance has been introduced to potential customers and key stakeholders across the United States, including government officials from both sides of the aisle,” LMC spokesman Ryan Hallett said in an email responding to a request for comment. “Today, we are in Washington, D.C. to discuss opportunities for new jobs and new ways to ensure a clean and prosperous future for all Americans.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, praised the “incredible innovation and craftsmanship of the Mahoning Valley” that was on display at the White House.

“I was excited to see Lordstown Motors visit the White House today and show off the Endurance truck,” Ryan said in a release. “I applaud Lordstown Motors in creating an incredible truck and giving our community the opportunity to continue to do what we do best – build world-class vehicles. I will continue to use my position to assist Lordstown Motors in whatever they need to get to the next level.”

In March 2019, General Motors closed its Lordstown plant, where it had manufactured the Chevrolet Cruze. The closing of the plant drew sharp criticism from Trump, particularly aimed at GM CEO Mary Barra and David Green, then president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, which represented workers at the plant.

“This is exciting. Lordstown Ohio got a gut-punch when General Motors decided to stop making the Chevy Cruze and pulled out,” with 1,500 workers losing their jobs when the plant closed, Portman said. 

Trump urged GM to either award a new product to the plant or sell the complex to another company. Last year, GM sold the plant to electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors, which this year unveiled the Endurance prototype at a media event attended by Vice President Mike Pence.  

“The area was devastated when General Motors moved out,” Trump said. “Beyond the plant, it’s incredible what’s happened in the area. It’s booming now. It’s absolutely booming. … It’s an incredible piece of science, technology. It’s going to happen now with more and more trucks. And ultimately they say you’ll be able to do it for less money, and it’s better, which is a good combination.” 

The area now is being called Voltage Valley because of Lordstown Motors and the new Ultium Cells plant, which will build batteries for GM’s fleet of electric vehicles, Portman said. That plant, which is under construction, will hire 1,100 workers initially. He said.   

“This didn’t happen by accident.” Navarro said. “When the GM plant shut down, the president and Portman went into action.

“This is a great partnership,” he said.

“The combination of this company and the battery plant will mean we replaced about the same number of workers, but with a really interesting future which is bringing even more electric vehicle, electric technology companies. Youngstown State University is playing an active role in this, providing training on electric vehicles technology,” the senator continued. “This is a rebirth, and it’s really exciting, and as you know, the president and this administration have been very helpful in this effort to try to bring back the jobs in the Mahoning Valley.”

Image: Lordstown Motors Corp.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.