The first two electric Endurance pickups have rolled off the production line at the Foxconn EV Ohio plant, Lordstown Motors announced on Sept. 29. The company said “up to” 500 trucks could be produced between the fourth quarter of 2022 and through the first half of 2023.
That production run comes with an important caveat: “subject to raising sufficient capital,” according to a statement from Lordstown. The company anticipates ending 2022 with approximately $110 million in cash and continues to explore opportunities for capital raising alternatives, it said. To put that in perspective, Lordstown burned over $600 million in 2021, before any vehicles were produced.
“We will continue to build at a slow rate as we address remaining part pedigree and part availability issues. We expect to increase the speed of production into November and December,” said Edward Hightower, Lordstown CEO and President. “Our homologation and certification processes are proceeding as planned.”
Lordstown has completed NHTSA’s required FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard) crash testing successfully, the company reported, while EPA and CARB applications have been submitted.
A Bumpy Ride
The start of production comes after a tumultuous two years for the upstart maker of an electric pickup truck for fleets.
The company that famously bought GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant with plans for an economic revival around electric vehicles went public in the third quarter of 2020. Endurance was to go into production in September 2021, with full production ramping up in 2022.
In March 2021, the short-seller firm Hindenburg Research released a report claiming that Lordstown misled investors by exaggerating orders for Endurance and overstating its ability to build the trucks. The orders — which had passed 100,000 by January 2021 — were in fact merely non-binding, no-deposit indications of interest.
The report led to an SEC investigation, and by June 2021, CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez resigned. The company amended the 10-K filing to its annual report, saying it needed additional funding to meet production targets.
In October 2021, Lordstown announced a deal to sell the former GM plant to Foxconn Technology Group, in which Foxconn would become a contract assembler for the company's Endurance pickup truck.
Lordstown announced in July 2022 a series of executive appointments. In which interim CEO Daniel Ninivaggi was elected to serve as executive chairman of the board and Edward T. Hightower, the company’s president, took on the additional role of CEO. Dr. Donna Bell, a former Ford Motor Company executive, was appointed executive vice president, product creation, engineering and supply chain.
The Endurance expects to start at $63,075, not including the U.S. federal tax credit of $7,500.