- Lordstown completes two Endurance electric pickups meant for customers, after years of delays.
- The company plans to build a batch of 50 pickups by the end of the year, but indicates that completing the rest of a 500-truck batch will be "subject to raising sufficient capital."
- Apple iPhone maker Foxconn has entered into an agreement to operate the Ohio plant several months ago to build the Endurance pickup, with plans to build future Fisker models.
After several eventful years, Lordstown Motors says it has launched series production of the Endurance electric pickup at the Ohio plant that was once a GM factory, completing two pickups intended for customers. That GM factory is now owned and operated by China's Foxconn, better known stateside as the producer of Apple's iPhone, with the electronics giant having bought its way into the EV business earlier this year.
Lordstown noted that it has built two pickups this far, with a third "expected to be completed shortly."
"These vehicles are part of the first batch of up to 500 saleable vehicles that we intend to build," the company noted.
The launch of production is a long-awaited milestone for the company, which has endured a rocky journey to arrive at this point, including plenty of money issues, a political appearance by former VP Mike Pence, and executive reshufflings. Lordstown experienced all this and more prior to the factory's purchase and the signing of an operating agreement with Hon Hai Technology Group, Foxconn's parent company.
The launch doesn't alleviate a number of other concerns about the pickup's longer-term viability, however.
For one thing, Lordstown still plans to cater to commercial fleet buyers, before opening up production for private individuals. Secondly, the truck is now arriving in a marketplace with several competitors on sale, which was not the case even a year ago. Thirdly, Lordstown and Foxconn are a long way from profitability or volume production for this particular model, even though Foxconn has other plans for this factory with partner Fisker. Finally, the pace of production does not foresee thousands of pickups even by the end of 2023, with the company having to revise its forecast downward several times.
Lordstown indicates that it plans to deliver just 50 units out of the 500-unit batch in 2022, with the rest scheduled to be completed next year, "subject to raising sufficient capital."
So the truck is still far from exiting low-volume production, and more money will be needed for it to advance past this 50-unit stage. In addition, Lordstown's pickup has yet to receive an EPA rating, with other types of certification still under way.
"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."