General Motors has sold its factory in Lordstown, Ohio, to a company that says it will make electric pickup trucks with union labor at wages comparable to those of the Detroit automakers.
The price was not disclosed.
The buyer is Lordstown Motors, a start-up that says it plans to hire some 400 workers next year and start production of an electric pickup designed for commercial fleets.
Steve Burns, the founder of Lordstown Motors, said the company would give preference in hiring to the plant’s former G.M. workers.
“We think it is appropriate that it is union,” Mr. Burns said. “Our goal is to hire those folks first who have experience and are still in Lordstown.”
Lordstown Motors expects to begin hiring workers next fall and start production by the end of 2020, Mr. Burns said. Workers will probably earn the top U.A.W. wage of about $31 an hour, he added. “We will be paying the same as the Big Three are paying,” Mr. Burns said.
In a statement, G.M. said it believed that Lordstown Motors “has the potential to create a significant number of jobs and help the Lordstown area grow into a manufacturing hub” for electric vehicles.
In its discussions with the U.A.W., G.M. prevailed in its determination to close the Lordstown plant, but it pledged to locate a battery factory in the area that would create about 1,000 jobs. The Lordstown plant, which most recently made the Chevrolet Cruze, once employed 3,000 workers.
The U.A.W. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the sale and the plans outlined by Mr. Burns.
The pickup that Lordstown Motors says it will build was developed by Mr. Burns’s previous company, Workhorse Group, based in Cincinnati. Mr. Burns left that business to start a venture to produce the electric pickup while Workhorse focused on an electric delivery truck.
Lordstown Motors has orders for 6,000 trucks from Duke Energy and 18 other companies that operate large fleets, Mr. Burns said.
Financing for the factory purchase was provided by Brown Gibbons Lang & Company, an investment bank based in Cleveland. Lordstown Motors said that with the bank’s help, it hoped to recruit strategic investors as it builds a new assembly line at the plant.