| 12:25 PM EST

Lordstown Motors Hires Ex-Tesla Mfg Chief

Lordstown Motors Corp. has hired a former manufacturing director from Tesla Inc. to help it launch electric truck production in Ohio.
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Lordstown Motors Corp. has hired a former manufacturing director from Tesla Inc. to help it launch electric truck production in Ohio.

Rich Schmidt started as the Lordstown Motors’ chief production officer last month, The Detroit News reports. Schmidt says he led production expansion at the Tesla factory in Fremont, Calif., before leaving the company and becoming a consultant three years ago.

Lordstown Motors hopes to start making an all-electric pickup truck (pictured) for commercial customers by the end of 2020 in General Motors Co.’s shuttered assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio.

CEO Steve Burns also is the founder of Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group Inc., which has been making electric commercial vehicles in small numbers for 12 years. Workhorse is pursuing funding to buy at least part of the Lordstown plant through Lordstown Motors, in which Workhorse will own a stake.

The sale has been stalled in part by United Auto Worker union opposition to the deal. The UAW is pressuring GM to reopen the complex, which stopped making slow-selling Chevrolet Cruze midsize sedans in March.