“Not Yet a Day to Celebrate,” Says Ohio Governor of Workhorse Lordstown Deal

President Trump tweeted yesterday that GM would be selling its Lordstown assembly plant to EV manufacturer Workhorse. While a deal turns out to have been in the works, reports now reveal that the deal is far from complete.

“This is probably not yet a day to celebrate,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine told the Columbus Dispatch. “A lot has to happen.”

Tom Colton, who represents Workhorse in this deal, also took a much more cautious tone when he spoke to Jalopnik.

“At this point, we’re in roughly preliminary discussions,” Colton told the publication Wednesday.

A quick look at Workhorse’s financials provides a hint as to why people are showing more caution than the president.

Workhorse recently published its first-quarter earnings and they were lower than expected at $364,000, instead of the consensus estimate of $1.6 million. Since its founding in 2007, the company hasn’t had a single profitable quarter and has lost $141 million.

The company explains that recent losses are associated with the cost of transitioning into a maker of electric trucks but at least part of its turnaround will be dependent on whether or not it can secure a contract from the USPS to make mail delivery trucks.

As Automotive News reports, it would be a huge endeavor for a company its size to buy the 6.2 million-square-foot Lordstown Assembly plant.

“Obviously, they’re an extremely small player and there are a lot of questions, Jeff Schuster, president of global forecasting at LMC Automotive, told AN. “It’s a big wildcard, really.”

Adding further complication to the deal, Workhorse wouldn’t actually be the one buying the plant, it would be a minority owner of a separate entity that plans to build an electric pickup and no one is eager to provide details on the arrangement.

While the parties involved do all appear to have an interest in making a deal work, the parameters, timeline and even the likelihood of the deal are still unclear. Calling it a victory for Ohio, therefore, feels premature at best.

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