Beleaguered electric vehicle maker Lordstown Motors needs another financial partner before it can mass-produce its electric pickup truck, the Endurance. The company says its truck is unprofitable to make even with several investments from Foxconn, though that it may have a future building other EVs if help doesn't arrive.
Lordstown Motors rose from the ashes of former General Motors plant Lordstown Assembly, where the Chevrolet Cruze was once made. What was once a major Ohio manufacturing town has relied on Lordstown and its electric Endurance pickup, which is aimed at competing with the likes of the Ford F-150 Lightning.
But while the Endurance beat the odds to enter production in 2022 with the help of iPhone manufacturer Foxconn, Lordstown has only made about 40 trucks according to CNBC. Production has also been on hold since a recall in February due to a loss of drive power. Though Lordstown CEO Ed Hightower says the company as a "clear line of sight" for fixing the issue and resuming production, Bloomberg reported, there's no ETA—and another obstacle on the horizon to boot. Hightower says Lordstown needs more money to make ramping Endurance production viable.
"It is an upside-down margin on each one," Hightower reportedly said of the Endurance. "If we don't find that partner we don't see the business rationale to make that investment ourselves."
Lordstown reportedly seeks to scale production so it can lower the cost of materials needed to build each truck, which lowers the price for both consumers and the company itself. To make best use of these materials Lordstown reportedly needs to buy more manufacturing tooling, for which it is reportedly talking to other automakers to purchase. Without any outside aid, Lordstown stated in a securities filing that it doesn't expect to make more than about 500 Endurance pickups total.
This doesn't mean Lordstown's hopes hinge on its pickup, however. If it doesn't find a partner for Endurance production, Lordstown will prioritize MIH—its joint venture with Foxconn—according to Bloomberg. Lordstown also reportedly still has $220 million cash on hand, which it can invest into a new EV platform associated with that project. So, while Lordstown's pickup is in a precarious place, the company itself isn't teetering on the brink any more, and may yet find a means of sustaining itself after all.
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