LG Chem and General Motors are partnering on a battery cell assembly plant in Northeast Ohio in anticipation of a burgeoning demand for battery-electric vehicles.
The $2.3bn Lordstown-based plant will create more than 1,100 jobs. According to Mary Barra, GM’s chairman and chief executive officer, the two companies are combining their expertise in the automotive and battery-cell technology industries in pursuit of an all-electric future.
GM ceased operations at its Lordstown car plant earlier this year because of slow sales, cutting thousands of jobs in the process. But the carmaker promised to return to Lordstown and create new jobs.
LG Chem, a South Korean company, will vertically integrate its battery cell manufacturing in the US and take advantage of an experienced workforce in Lordstown through this venture. The company will also benefit from GM’s production of EVs, including the car manufacturer’s battery-electric truck slated to hit the market in late 2021.
Hak-Cheol Shin, LG Chem’s vice chairman and chief executive officer, said that partnering with an auto manufacturer that has a proven track record is imperative to capitalizing on the expected growth in North America’s EV market. Moreover, he said the partnership allows LG Chem greater insight into the broader EV ecosystem.
GM has already invested $28mn in a battery plant located in Warren, Michigan, and another $700mn worth of manufacturing investments in Ohio that will create about 450 jobs in Toledo, Parma, and Brookville.