LORDSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted toured the new Lordstown Motors plant Wednesday, a day before the new all-electric Endurance pickup truck will be unveiled for the first time.
DeWine asked to come a day early because he’s avoiding crowds due to COVID-19. They met briefly with a small group of senior staff members and also got a first look at the 2020 Endurance all-electric pickup truck.
“We can’t tell you exactly what we saw, but we can answer questions about anything else,” DeWine said.
The governor didn’t want to spoil Thursday’s big reveal, but he liked what he saw.
“This is the future,” DeWine said. “I think this truck really has a great competitive advantage over its competitors.”
It was Thanksgiving 2018 when General Motors announced the plant was closing. Nineteen months later, there’s an unveiling for the new truck.
“The fact you’ve all been able to put this together as quick, I’m just shocked that anybody could do that that quick,” DeWine said.
“The truck is just very promising,” Husted said. “The technology on this really can be a game-changer in electric propulsion.”
Youngstown State president Jim Tressel watched from the side. He’s supported Lordstown Motors from the start.
DeWine praised what the area’s educational community is doing to create jobs. There will be a thousand more when the truck starts full production.
“As much as any place I see in the state of Ohio, there is real focus,” he said. “When you talk to Jim Tressel, he talks about jobs.”
“It’s exciting and there’s opportunity,” Tressel said. “Now you have to compete like in any other opportunity. There’s going to be a lot of other places all across the world trying to be the leader in this field.”
Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns also stood off to the side when the governor spoke. He spoke briefly, too, saving his best speech for Thursday.
“They used to make 400,000 Cruzes in here a year. Our goal is to exceed that. They did it with about 5,000 folks and that’s probably about the same number we’ll need at the end.”
The unveiling is scheduled for noon Thursday at the Lordstown Motors plant. Vice President Mike Pence will be there, along with Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette. Both will tour the plant and are expected to speak.