COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Could another major factory soon call the state of Ohio home?
According to some state leaders, the answer is yes. In a series of tweets, Gov. Mike DeWine offered a clue that automaker Honda is eyeing the Buckeye State for the expansion of electric vehicle manufacturing.
There are now two major questions that come with this news: Where would the plant go and why the state of Ohio?
While the answer to the first question remains unanswered, the why Ohio is an obvious answer for some.
“The automotive industry is changing massively, and we want to be relevant to the future of the automotive industry,” said Steve Stivers, president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
For Stivers, it’s no secret that the cars of tomorrow will look drastically different than the cars of today. He sees there’s a big chance that change will have origins in the Buckeye State.
“And in Ohio, we still know how to make things and that makes us competitive,” he said.
Stivers said that existing knowledge has led some of the nation’s largest automakers to announce Ohio as its latest expansion.
“It’s been great that GM has already announced a plant in Lordstown, an electric battery plant in Lordstown; Foxcon has announced a major plant in Lordstown as well,” he said. “Ford just announced a plant, $1.5 billion.”
Stivers says while the exact location of the proposed site remains unknown, given the estimated $4.4 billion price tag, in comparison to Ford’s latest announcement, one can imagine just how many jobs could be created.
“We could be talking about 3,000 to 4,000 jobs if it were to come to Ohio,” Stivers said.
Thousands of jobs for a technology that some leaders like California’s Gov. Gavin Newsome is counting on. In 2020, California made headlines by announcing that by 2035, all new cars sold in the state must be zero-emissions vehicles.
And while Stivers said there are other major players in the EV industry, states like North Carolina and Tennessee, he said the key now is to make Ohio competitive with those other states.
DeWine said the future is bright for manufacturing in Ohio.
“Ohio’s advanced manufacturing future is bright,” he said in a statement. “With automakers moving to manufacture more and more electric vehicles, we want Honda to expand its operation in Ohio.”