Today’s Electric Vehicles launches as weekly newsletter

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May 31, 2019

The editors of Today’s Motor Vehicles have launched Today’s Electric Vehicles, a free weekly eNewsletter focusing on the heavy investments automakers and suppliers are making in electric drive systems.

Topics will include manufacturing technologies that support electric vehicles (EVs), system advancements, industry investments, and products that promote EV growth.

Click here to subscribe to the newsletter.

GM considering selling Lordstown, Ohio plant to EV-maker Workhorse

General Motors, a company that has drawn extreme criticism from President Donald Trump and the United Auto Workers (UAW) for its decision to close its Chevy Cruze plant in Lordstown, Ohio, is in talks to sell that facility to commercial truck maker Workhorse LLC.

A finalist to provide new postal vehicles and a company that has supplied electric delivery trucks to UPS and other shipping companies, Cincinnati, Ohio-based Workhorse’s offices are about 4 hours from the Northeast Ohio Lordstown plant.

“This potential agreement creates a positive outcome for all parties involved and will help solidify the leadership of Workhorse’s role in the electric vehicle (EV) community,” Workhorse CEO Duane Hughes says. He adds that if the deal succeeds, the first vehicle would be a commercial electric pickup.

Since November 2018, GM and the UAW have been negotiating Lordstown’s future. The union’s contract doesn’t allow GM to close or sell the site during the contract’s term – officially, the plant is still open but with no product. In July 2019, the union and GM will negotiate new terms.

UAW Vice President Terry Dittes, director of the UAW-GM Department, says the union still wants GM to put a new product in the plant and will continue its lawsuit protesting the closing of Lordstown and three other U.S. sites.

Still, Dittes left open the possibility of non-GM ownership, saying “We will monitor this situation as it develops to determine what course of action will most benefit UAW-represented workers at General Motors.”

GM CEO Mary Bara says the automaker continues to invest in Ohio at plants in Toledo, Parma, and Moraine, and it sees the sale of Lordstown to Workhorse “a potential win-win for everyone. Workhorse has innovative technologies that could help preserve Lordstown’s more than 50-year tradition of vehicle assembly work.” https://www.gm.com; https://workhorse.com

Calsonic Kansei buys Magneti Marelli from Fiat Chrysler

A former Nissan partner has purchased Magneti Marelli, a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) subsidiary that makes lighting systems and other automotive components. Calsonic Kansei, a Japanese company once 42% owned by Nissan, bought Magneti Marelli for about $6.5 billion in cash.

Calsonic Kansei has a strong North American presence, primarily supporting Nissan plants in Mississippi and Tennessee, and it supplies other global automakers. The Magneti Marelli merger will slightly more than double Calsonic Kansei’s revenue (based on 2018 numbers) creating a $16 billion sales company about the size of seating maker Adient or wiring harness supplier Yazaki Corp – at or close to the Top 10 largest Tier 1 suppliers.

The combined business will be called Marelli. Private equity firm KKR owns Calsonic, having purchased Nissan’s shares in 2016 and the rest of the company in 2017.

Marelli CEO Beda Bolzenius says, “Our relationship with FCA remains an important one, as we continue to serve them as part of our multi-year supply agreement.”http://calsonic.com; https://www.fcagroup.com; https://www.magnetimarelli.com; https://www.nissanusa.com