DETROIT — General Motors on Wednesday said it plans to invest $700 million and create more than 450 manufacturing jobs at three plants in Ohio, leading to more potential landing spots for workers it laid off when idling the Lordstown Assembly Plant in northeastern Ohio.
The automaker confirmed the plans shortly after President Donald Trump disclosed them via Twitter. Trump mentioned the investments and jobs while claiming that GM had agreed to sell the Lordstown plant to Workhorse Group Inc. for production of electric trucks. GM later said it is merely in discussions with Workhorse.
"The U.S. economy and our core business are strong, so we can expand our commitment to U.S. manufacturing and Ohio and create job opportunities for our employees," CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. "We also expect to bring more jobs to the U.S. over time in support of the expected provisions of the" unratified U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement negotiated by the Trump administration.
GM said the investments will expand powertrain and stamping operations in Toledo, Parma and Moraine:
- The DMAX plant in Moraine is boosting diesel engine production for GM's new heavy-duty pickups, which go on sale this year.
- Toledo Transmission will increase production of the company's 10-speed automatic transmission for trucks and SUVs.
- The Parma Metal Center will expand production of stamped parts and use laser cell welding technology.
The UAW was unimpressed by the announcement, saying GM should instead resume vehicle production in Lordstown.
"In response to General Motors' announcement today, the UAW's position is unequivocal: General Motors should assign a product to the Lordstown facility and continue operating it," Vice President Terry Dittes, director of the UAW's GM Department, said in a statement.
The 450 additional jobs amount to only about one-third of the more than 1,400 hourly jobs lost when GM closed Lordstown Assembly in March. GM has been trying to move the laid-off workers to other plants. Hourly workers at the DMAX plant, a joint-venture with Isuzu, are represented by the International Union of Electrical Workers rather than the UAW.
Trump, in his tweets, called the investment and potential sale of Lordstown "GREAT NEWS FOR OHIO!"