YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Business owners from an estimated 14 states met in Youngstown Tuesday, excited for the new Lordstown Motors electric truck “Endurance.”
“My gasoline-powered truck is going to go away in 20 years,” Eric Humbel said. “It’ll be gone. These folks seem to be at the forefront of it. It’s really exciting.”
He and Jeri Potts own a manufacturing company in Medina. They’re two of an estimated 600 people who came to Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown Tuesday to see how their businesses could fit with Lordstown Motors.
“We’ve been focused and talking to companies but we really want to open it up to local and regional folks, and that was part of the invite,” said John LaFleur, with Lordstown Motors.
Businesses chosen could work with Lordstown Motors in as soon as the next few weeks.
Just like everyone else, Humbel and Potts were here to see how they could help manufacture the new electric truck.
“We do thermal installation, packaging for components to move them from one area to another safely without being damaged,” Humbel said.
“Our plan is to hire 1,000 people this year and who knows how many people we’ll have to hire for the factory?” LaFleur said.
LaFleur said he knows there are capable businesses right in his backyard but ultimately, the choices will come down to what will lead to the most financial success. He said either way, the plant will have a big local impact.
“I think of the ancillary jobs this will create in the area, from suppliers to hotels to restaurants.”
“We really want to partner with Lordstown Motors, put together a corporate rate,” said Shelby Morris, who represents the Hampton Inn and Residence Inn in Niles.
Both hotels had a corporate deal with the plant when it was GM Lordstown.
LaFleur said he knows this area has suffered a lot since the GM closing and that’s how the truck got its name.
“We looked at the enduring people of the Valley. We named the vehicle after these people that have been kind of put through a lot.”
The trucks have not hit the consumer market yet. Lordstown Motors is expected to sell 20,000 of them this year.