Lordstown GM assembly plant in Ohio is closing...

Lordstown GM assembly plant in Ohio is closing...

Senators from Ohio, both Republican and Democrat joined together in meeting w Mary Barra (GM) to discuss GM’s announcement of the closing of the Lordstown (Ohio) assembly plant.
They stated that if GM is planning on all this EV production in the next several years, then they want GM to transition this plant to EV production.
Let’s see what GM decides.
I kinda feel for Mary a bit. She has many obligations to answer to, ie....shareholders , board directors, pension plan, and most of all the UAW.
It would be awesome if UAW and GM could collaborate on getting something done EV wise for Lordstown. Seems like union and company are always at odds. Too much greed and mistrust on both sides.
When Elon wants to get something done he just does it. What a difference between the two.

carlk | December 6, 2018

I've grown more sympathetic to Mary Barra. She probably has some kind of vision but she has to play with cards she has. There is no way she could take risks like Elon has taken and expect to still be the CEO next year. I'm not that sympathetic to UAW though. They are more interested in power grabing than workers' wellfare. As liberal a person as I am I have to think with global economy and better labor laws we have now the need of unions, at least in their present forms, no longer exists They are more hindrans than help for both business and workers.

jordanrichard | December 6, 2018

I mentioned this in another post on the subject of Tesla perhaps buying one of these shuttered factories. It would kill the UAW. Do you think people would put loyalty to the UAW over putting food on their table, because you know Tesla won't hire union workers.

I agree 100% that the UAW is all about themselves. They collect full salary and benefits, from union dues, no matter what. So if the workers are on strike, standing in the cold around a barrel fire to keep warm, the UAW execs keep warm inside collecting their full check vs those workers on strike.

David N | December 6, 2018

Maybe rank and file should mandate that execs spend equal time around that barrel of fire if workers are on strike. Also all execs go on same strike pay as rank and file, wonder how’d that would go over.

jpcollins9 | December 6, 2018

As a former Ohioan, I feel for the Lordstown workers. Before this there was the steel industry decline that decimated the area. As a retired senior manager involved in operational restructuring for a number of metals plants, both aluminum and steel,in the U.S. and abroad, found turnaround was usually easier to accomplish in a union plant than in a nonunion one, having nothing to do with whether the workers were union or not, but having lots to do with the difficulties to overcome the effects of mismanagement. In many cases, I found that the presence of a union often forced the management structure to be better.

I think most of the Lordstown people don't see this as just a "them versus us" thing but a complicated evolution the auto industry is going through now. If we believe pundits who say the tipping point has been reached this year, or next, between ICE versus EV, there's likely to be more fall out as the industry tries to adjust. Figuring out which automaker will be relevant and which won't isn't easy. Frankly, I don't hold out much hope for GM and Ford. Imo, Ford is royally screwing up having not already jumped on the EV pickup market.

David N | December 6, 2018


Yodrak. | December 6, 2018

"you know Tesla won't hire union workers."
Then you know that Tesla won't consider an assembly plant in Ohio, which is a union-only state.

I was once of the opinion that unions, and particularly union bosses, had too much power that was not necessarily used to the benefit of the members. No longer. Today I am of the opinion that company management is most concerned with the welfare of company executive management. Also, I notice that in the list of the stakeholders that the OP gives, customers are - correctly - missing,

Ford in particular, and now GM, are abandoning the sedan market for pickups and SUVs. They're going for what they see as the present day low-hanging fruit. Meanwhile, Toyota and Honda are the dominant sellers selling predominantly sedans, and Tesla is having little trouble selling sedans especially now that the Model 3 is approaching an affordable price point - still not at the price of the not-a-sedan Leaf and Bolt, but outselling them. So yes, many Americans prefer pickups, SUVs, and crossovers, but many Americans will still buy a sedan if Ford and GM would make a decent sedan.

carlk | December 6, 2018

There is no chance Tesla will buy the GM plant after UAW played those dirty tricks to it.

jordanrichard | December 7, 2018

Yodrak, by state law it is a union state.

rxlawdude | December 7, 2018

Mary B is forever tainted with the ignition lock albatross.

jordanrichard | December 8, 2018

Rxlawdude +1, except that unfortunately the general public has already forgotten about that. Like those of us in the “EV world”, people who live and breathe everything automotive have to remember that the general public doesn’t pay attention to any of this, unless it makes the news.

Yodrak. | December 8, 2018

"Yodrak, by state law it is a union state."

??? That's what I wrote, Ohio is a union state.

jordanrichard | December 8, 2018

So in OH, if you want a job you have to be part of a union........? That’s as bad as if you want a new car, you have to buy it through a dealer.

ravisundaramam | December 8, 2018

In Ohio, if 50% of the workers who show up to in the election to form a union, all the workers will be forced to join the union. Union dues, a few percent of the pay, will be deducted at the source and be given to the union.

In the so called right to work states, if such a union is formed only those who voted for it will be in the union. They pay the union dues. Usually any concession the extract is available to all the workers. So there is a lot less incentive to pay the dues. If they reduce the dues to a very small percent and show enough benefit for the dues they collect unions can be formed even these right to work state. But they need to work very hard and win the hearts and minds of the workers to reduce free loading.

This is my understanding, I would welcome corrections.

ravisundaramam | December 8, 2018

Unless the government subsidies give the plant away for free to Tesla, it is not likely to buy it. It is more likely bargain with Texas to build a factory there in return for direct access to the Texas car market.

Anyway logically the next factory of Tesla is likely to be in Europe. The one after that could be in USA, Austin, Texas if Texas relents. Or Seattle Washington state, some ex Boeing facility and access to techie talent.

Uncle Paul | December 8, 2018

When Tesla wishes to open another US assembly plant, they will most likely do what they did with their Gigafactory.

They will decide what they need in the way of a facility and shop around. They will go where they can get the best overall deal. Location, available work force, price of labor, transportation, taxes, governmental inducements, utilities, and the general friendlyness of the govenments they will need to work with.

With the Gigafactroy, they got State inducements. This has worked out fantastic for Nevada. The area around Sparks has been booming. Housing prices have gone up and lots of work for everyone. Additional support and similar companies have also flocked to that area. The commercial zone has seen rapid increases in employment in addition to what Tesla has hired.

Tesla will only go where they feel welcomed.

The current experience they have had with the UAW at their Fremont plant will most like make them want to go non Union. In the UAWs efforts to take over that plant they have used Goons to place falls narratives about how unsafe it is there, how poor the conditions are and how poorly the employees are being treated. While no company is perfect it seems as though the UAWs complaints were severly blown out of proportion.

jordanrichard | December 9, 2018

Agreed that apart rom what is to be built in China, Europe would get the next plant. They actually ship cars to Europe partically asssembled in part probably to reduce import taxes but to also befit the cars with country specific items like turn signals that are amber. So logistically it would make sense to have a full blown factory there since they already have to a degree assembly capacity. This would reduce what it made in Fremont. Also Tesla has made it known that eventually the Gigafactory in NV will include the construction of entire cars. So that will free up even more pressure on Fremont.

carlk | December 9, 2018

According to definitions stated above California is an union state (no right to work laws). Even with that most newer companies are not represented by unions for many reasons from extensive labor protection laws of the state to companies need good workers and treated them as valuable asset. Those just made union unnessary if not harmful to good workers. There is little chance that UAW will be able to get in the Fremont plant. Elon, and even his girl friend, said UAW can set up a vote any time it wants. Instead all it had been done are lawsuits and Tesla bashing in the media with a lot of exaggerated and false claims. The purpose is pretty obvious. If it can't organize the plant at least it will slow down or even kill Tesla so it will not threat its Midwest base. What happened with GM, again I sympathez those affected workers, is nothing but poetic justice to UAW. Whatever Elon said in public I kind of think what UAW did killed any chance that Tesla will buy those plants.

David N | December 9, 2018

Keep in mind that Elon has said on numerous occasions that it makes sense to consider logistics for any future plants, meaning one assembly plant on west coast(current one) another on the East coast , that would drastically cut transport time and cost.
Another in China and one in Europe .
This would apply to Gigafactory as well as car production.

Yodrak. | December 9, 2018

"So in OH, if you want a job you have to be part of a union........?"

If the job is a unionized job, then yes one has to join the union. If the job is not a unionized job, then no - there is no union to join for that job.

Same as in Connecticut.

jordanrichard | December 10, 2018

Got it, so what makes it a union job? Freemont was a union factory under GM/Toyota, but isn't now. So why couldn't that happen in OH?

carlk | December 10, 2018

Yes it certainly could. Tesla holds all the card if it is intrested to proceed. Not to mention why workers there would want UAW when it was powerless to protect their jobs?

DTsea | December 10, 2018


Boeing plants in Puget Sound and South Carolina are running flat out building airplanes. there are no empty buildings here for a car plant.

Yodrak. | December 11, 2018

"Freemont was a union factory under GM/Toyota, but isn't now. So why couldn't that happen in OH?"
"Yes it certainly could."

Agree, it could happen that, should Tesla establish an assembly plant in Ohio, an organizing effort would fail there as it did in Fremont.

My sense is that the UAW is stronger in Ohio than it is in California, and the general 'attitude' of the manufacturing workforce is more inclined to unions in Ohio than in California, and so it's likely that Tesla would face a stronger unionizing effort in Ohio and would lose the battle.\

I also think that GM does not plan to abandon the Lordstown assembly plant. It's being idled with the cancelation of the models it's presently producing, it will be re-opened to produce one or more of the new models that GM is developing.

spuzzz123 | December 12, 2018

In my organization (Ohio, not automotive industry) has union jobs. Employees are allowed to abstain from joining the union BUT dues are still taken. So most join anyway to at least have *some* benefit for having that money deducted. Only those that are strongly philosophically against unions choose that option.

Yodrak. | December 12, 2018