Ohio’s U.S. Senators are asking General Motors to commit to producing all of its electric vehicles in the U.S. The lawmakers are also seeking additional details from the automaker regarding planned production cuts in the U.S.
Reuters reports Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democrat Sherrod Brown sent a letter to GM demanding answers by a December 21st deadline. The two senators asked GM if it would consider producing electric cars or electric SUVs versus the gasoline-powered sedans it is currently killing from its lineup.
The letter also seeks additional information from GM regarding the job loss at suppliers who support the company’s Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio, which is slated to shutdown in early 2019.
This letter is the latest in a host of attempts Congress and the White House have taken to attempt to change GM’s mind regarding closing five of its assembly facilities in the U.S. next year. GM CEO Mary Barra recently met with leaders in Congress to discuss the planned closings further, promising them to keep an “open mind” regarding the closures.
Company officials have stated the decision to close Lordstown and the other four plants in the U.S. won’t be reexamined until GM negotiates its new collective bargaining agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union next year. Barra has stated that Lordstown in particular would take two years to retool to produce something like an electric vehicle.
GM has previously announced plans to launch 20 new electric vehicles by 2023. The company has not publicly disclosed where it plans to produce these 20 new models. Production decisions are likely hinging on the economics of the new UAW contract.