Workhorse Says USPS Meeting a ‘First Step’ as It Weighs Options
CINCINNATI, Ohio – The CEO of Workhorse Group Inc. says the company’s meeting with representatives of the U.S. Postal Service is a “first step” in exploring options after the electric-vehicle manufacturer lost its bid to build the next generation of postal delivery trucks.
“[Wednesday’s] meeting with the USPS marked the first step in what we expect may be a prolonged process to explore our options and possibly pursue further action related to our NGDV bid,” CEO Duane Hughes said in a statement. “We will continue to follow the proper due course procedures as defined by the USPS and will also look to other options available to us.”
Meanwhile, the company has retained the services of corporate advisory firms Akin Gump Straus Hauer & Feld LLP and Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass LLP “to identify our options and pursue them effectively,” Hughes said. “We appreciate the support of the many private and public stakeholders who have expressed an interest in supporting us and will continue to share updates as we are able.”
On Feb. 23, the USPS awarded its long-awaited contract to build its next generation of delivery vehicles to Oshkosh Defense, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corp. in Wisconsin.
Workhorse was among a handful of finalists for the lucrative contract, worth an estimated $6 billion over 10 years. The company said it could not disclose details of Wednesday’s meeting, but would make more information available as is permissible under the guidelines of the USPS’ bid rules.
Workhorse is a 10% shareholder in Lordstown Motors Corp., which is manufacturing the all-electric Endurance pickup truck at the former General Motors plant in Lordstown. The company, formed by Workhorse founder Steve Burns, was likely to manufacture at least a portion of the vehicles for Workhorse at the sprawling plant.
Federal lawmakers representing Ohio have urged Biden to halt the postal truck contract until a full review is conducted to determine whether “inappropriate political influence” was involved in the decision to award Oshkosh the contract.
On Monday, U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, and Marcy Kaptur, D-9 Ohio, along with Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, wrote a letter to President Joe Biden saying that the award is inconsistent with the president’s recently signed executive order calling for the conversion of the entire federal fleet to electric vehicles.
“This contract will have consequences for decades to come and, as such, we have serious concerns it could be a wasted opportunity to address the climate crisis and the reindustrialization of our manufacturing sector,” the lawmakers wrote.
Workhorse stock was hammered after the USPS’s decision last week, plummeting more than 47% the day of the announcement.
Shares of Workhorse continued their slide on Thursday and were down 7.7% to $13.77 at 2 p.m.
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