GM said Lordstown is one of five factories up for possible closure as it restructures to cut costs and focus on autonomous and electric vehicles.
On Monday, GM announced that it planned to cut 14,000 blue-collar and salaried jobs, or 15 percent of its total workforce, and halt production at five factories (four in the USA and one in Canada) next year in a bid to reduce costs amid slowing sales and changing consumer tastes.
The move is likely to lead to the loss of more than 14,000 jobs in North America, including over 6,100 shift workers at the plants. The Detroit-based company's shares surged.
The planned job reductions, which triggered political pushback in the Midwest U.S. and Canada, come on the heels of surprisingly strong third-quarter earnings.
"You better get back in there soon - that's Ohio", Trump told reporters Monday, recounting what he said to GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra following the job cuts announcement earlier Monday. Barra is also shifting resources toward building electric cars and, eventually, vehicles that drive themselves. "We appreciate the actions this administration has taken on behalf of industry to improve the overall competitiveness of USA manufacturing", the statement said.
"We need to make sure that we are well positioned to compete, not just over the next few years, but well beyond", she said.
NASA’s InSight Spacecraft Lands Successfully On Mars After 300-Million-Mile Journey
When confirmation of the landing came through, mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab erupted in applause and cheers. And Tuesday night, the Mars Odyssey orbiter should confirm that the spacecraft's solar arrays have unfurled.
Could Korean production be under threat?
In a statement, Governor John Kasich said the news was "frustrating" but said he would work with GM to try to preserve the plant.
Kudlow, the National Economic Council director, said that while the White House was disappointed with GM's plans, he did not think the shutdowns will affect the overall economy. GM will also cease production of several auto models, including the Chevrolet Cruze and the Buick LaCrosse.
"They said the Chevy Cruze is not selling well", Trump said. "I once again urged GM to make a commitment to bring a new product to the plant, especially since GM is proposing to build a number of new electric vehicles", Senator Portman said. Now the full-electric Chevrolet Bolt can go up to 238 miles on a single charge. "They are not closing our damn plant without one hell of a fight".
What that would look like wasn't immediately clear: electric vehicles are eligible for a US$7,500 federal tax credit, but neither the president nor Kudlow provided additional details as to whether that's what they're reconsidering. GM has said sagging demand for small cars largely prompted the cuts. The totals are imprecise in part because there may be some double-counting with employees who are taking the October buyout offer.
With US auto sales lagging, several vehicle plants have fallen to just one shift, including its Hamtramck and Lordstown, assembly plant. Also affected are transmission factories in Warren, Michigan, as well as Baltimore. Another two plants will close outside North America. Those locations have yet to be announced, but its Korean operation has been under pressure for some time now. What happens to those plants will be discussed during contract talks with the United Auto Workers union next year.