Lordstown Motors CEO tours plant, anticipates quick start

Lordstown Motors CEO tours auto plant

LORDSTOWN, Ohio — Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns walked into the Lordstown building Thursday for the first time after buying it. There was plenty of excitement for his deal to start Lordstown Motors.

"This isn't just a factory for us. This is our headquarters," Burns told WKBN.

Battery packs and motors will be made inside the plant, and Lordstown Motors is inviting other suppliers to come here. The plant remains in great shape. It was built for volume.

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Lordstown Motors is starting with one model, called the Endurance. The company said surveys show there's a bigger than anticipated market for electric work vehicles.

"If we come out with the first electric pickup truck, I don't think we'll be able to make them fast enough," said Burns.

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Burns plans to meet with the UAW soon and expects to make trucks before the end of 2020. He admits the project has gotten tremendous help from the state.

State Sen. Michael Rulli has taken a test drive in a prototype and is convinced.

"The acceleration of these vehicles is nothing like you could experience, and the stopping is even better. This is a serious product. This could change the way that we look at driving for the rest of our existence," said Rulli.

Lordstown has been a great place to make cars, and Burns hopes it won't have to worry anymore from model to model.

A banner reading "Home of the Cruze" was recently taken down at the factory, the last vestige of its history with General Motors removed.

The Lordstown plant had been producing vehicles for General Motors for 50 years and, at one time, employed more than 13,000 people.

It was shuttered as a part of the most recent contract between the automaker and the United Auto Workers union.

"You know, we're starting with the first full-size pickup truck. Our goal is to have entire fleet of different types of vehicles, all electrification," said Burns.