The one time home of the Cruze has been sold to a startup planning to make electric trucks

The one time home of the Cruze has been sold to a startup planning to make electric trucks

LG Chem has said it would spend US$916m at its US subsidiary by 2023 to set up an electric vehicle battery joint venture with General Motors.

An LG Chem spokesman declined to give details to Reuters.

A news agency source said earlier the factory, expected to be located in the Lordstown area of Ohio, would see investment of over US$2bn with GM and LG Chem expected to put in over $1bn each.

The venture was likely to be signed on Thursday, sources told Reuters.

A General Motors (GM) spokeswoman declined to comment to the news agency.

"Talks occur on a regular basis in the auto industry between a variety of partners on different topics, but as a matter of policy we don't discuss who, where or when those discussions might occur," she said.

The Reuters sources said workers at the plant were expected to be represented by the United Auto Workers union and earn in the range of $15 to $17 an hour.

A GM-LG plant could be the first unionised battery factory in the United States. Tesla's factory and LG Chem's battery factory in Michigan do not have unions.

Ohio became a lightning rod in the 2020 presidential election after GM announced in November 2018 plans to close the car manufacturing plant in Lordstown, drawing condemnation from US president Donald Trump.

The plant's closure was one issue during a lengthy strike by GM workers.

GM said in September it planned to bring battery cell production to the Lordstown area, which it said would create about 1,000 manufacturing jobs.

Reuters first reported in July that LG Chem was considering its second US factory with production slated to start in 2022.

LG's second plant would make modular batteries for multiple GM vehicles, including a future Cadillac EV, a second source told Reuters.

Last month, GM sold the shuttered Lordstown Assembly plant - which last built the Chevrolet Cruze - to a startup company that plans to begin building electric pickup trucks by the end of 2020.

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