Lordstown Endurance is already three years too late. The latest we hear from the EV maker is that their pickup trucks are back in production. But the road ahead isn’t smooth for the debt-ridden company. Find out if Endurance – the truck and otherwise – can save Lordstown Motors anytime soon.
Steve Burns founded Lordstown Motors Corporation (LMC) in 2018, and the company is based at GM’s former assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. Burns was formerly the CEO of Workhorse Group (originally AMP Electric Vehicles); he also co-founded it. Workhorse was also an early investor in Burn’s new startup, but the company sold off its stake in LMC.
Lordstown Motors has woven a tumultuous history riddled with short-selling controversies, revenue issues, production delays, and more in just five years. Most recently, they had to halt production due to a serious electrical issue with Lordstown Endurance trucks. Though the company resolved it and resumed production, there’s a new problem – falling stock prices leading to a notice from NASDAQ.
So, how did it come to this? A timeline of Lordstown Motors in the news puts it together:
What is happening with Lordstown Motors?
November 2019: Lordstown Motors takes over the former GM assembly plant in Lordstown; General Motors loans the startup $40 million to underwrite the purchase.
March 2020: LMC paid Workhorse Group $12 million for the licensing rights to the W-15 pickup truck, and as a part of the deal, Workhorse gets a 10% equity stake in Lordstown.
October 2020: After a reverse merger with DiamondPeak Holdings (SPAC), Lordstown is listed on NASDAQ and started trading as RIDE. GM released the company from the mortgage.
January 2021: LMC announced its vehicle service center in Irvine, CA – the first outside Ohio.
Hindenburg Report & SEC Notice
March 2021: Hindenburg releases a report on Lordstown Motors‘ history of fraud and irregularities in Steve Burns’ background. The investment research firm specializes in short-selling, and their report presented evidence of several inconsistencies that mislead investors.
As a result of the Hindenburg report, Lordstown stock fell by 17%, and the SEC sent LMC a request for information regarding the claims.
June 2021: LMC amended its annual report to SEC, showing they were at risk of bankruptcy. The company revealed that they do not have enough money to start commercial production.
Steve Burns (CEO) and Julio Rodrigues (CFO) resigned soon after, and the board commissioned an independent investigation. They found that the company overstated pre-order agreements to generate press.
August 2021: Veteran auto executive Daniel Ninivaggi (former Icahn Enterprises CEO) became the new LMC CEO.
October 2021: LMC announces a $230 million deal with Taiwanese multinational company Foxconn to sell the plant in Lordstown. Foxconn comes on board as the contract assembler for Endurance trucks and invests $50 million by purchasing common stock.
May 2022: Lordstown Motors finalized the deal with Foxconn, and the two companies created MIH EV Design LLC, a new Joint Venture.
March 2022: GM announced that they have sold off the investment in LMC by the end of 2021
July 2022: Automotive entrepreneur and executive Edward T. Hightower comes on board as CEO and is now the president of Lordstown Motors.
November 2022: Foxconn invests another $170 million to ramp up Endurance production.
February 2023: LMC halted Endurance production to address an electrical connection error that could cause propulsion loss while driving the pickup truck.
LMC has until October 2023 to regain compliance and is currently evaluating solutions. The upcoming board meeting will likely vote on a reverse stock split to decide Lordstown’s future. Meanwhile, Foxconn has alleged a contract breach, and if the deal falls through, Lordstown expects to end Endurance production soon.
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Will Lordstown Motors survive?
Analysts are unanimous about Lordstown’s bleak future, and it’s not the only EV startup facing similar challenges. Brands like Canoo and Faraday Future also have several hoops to jump through. But in LMS’s case, the company is losing money despite cash injections. Net losses for 2022 Q4 were $102 million, which widened to $171 million in the first quarter of 2023.
Pay off debts, ramp up production to meet demand, increase revenues, and make profits – the road to recovery is long. At the time of writing, Lordstown and Foxconn are yet to agree on funding. If the deal unravels, ending Endurance production would be the last nail in Lordstown’s coffin.
Update (July 27, 2023): Lordstown Motors (RIDE) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sued Foxconn for a deal breach.
What vehicles does Lordstown make?
Lordstown Motors’ all-electric Endurance trucks had an original release date in late 2020 and a price tag of $52,500. But first deliveries were pushed to September 2021 and then to April 2022. Production delays continued in 2023 as the company sought the necessary capital to hit its initial goal of 500 units. Sales began in the fourth quarter of 2022, and LMS sold three trucks during that quarter.
After the Foxconn takeover, they also unveiled three new prototypes: The Model C SUV (to go on sale in Taiwan this year), an electric bus, and a new electric sedan.
Lordstown Endurance is currently in production and is the company’s debut model. It is an electric AWD pickup truck with four dedicated in-wheel hub motors and a 109 kWh battery capacity. With fewer moving parts, Endurance design claims lower maintenance and better control.
With a peak power of 550 hp and torque of 4791 lb-ft, Endurance trucks could go 0-60 in 6.3 seconds at a top speed of 118 mph. You learn more about the EV specs here.
Quick answers to your top queries about Lordstown Motors and its EV model:
Who owns Lordstown Motors?
Steve Burns founded the startup that later went public. Taiwanese group Foxconn acquired the Lordstown Motors plant in 2021 and later invested $170 million in the company to become one of its largest shareholders. However, Lordstown and Foxconn are currently at an impasse due to falling stock prices.
Did Apple buy Lordstown Motors?
Foxconn is only a contract manufacturer for Apple and is not owned by the iPhone maker. So, no – Apple does not have a stake in Lordstown Motors. However, Foxconn is the struggling EV company’s major shareholder and contract assembler.
What is the Lordstown Endurance price?
The 2023 Endurance truck price starts at $65,060 – a hike from the original $52,500 price tag for 2020. However, the EV maker hasn’t released details on any feature upgrades.
How many trucks has Lordstown Motors sold?
LMS managed to sell three Endurance trucks in 2022 Q4 when the sales started and an additional three in 2023.
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