Investment puts fledgling automaker back on track to introduce electric trucks

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Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns introduces then-President Donald Trump to a prototype of the Endurance electric pickup truck on the South Lawn of the White House in September 2020. The vehicle has run into production delays but now appears to be on track to roll out by the end of 2022. File photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 8 (UPI) — U.S. electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors is back on track to deliver the first of its Endurance pickup trucks by the end of the year after its Taiwanese business partner invested $170 million in cash to help the struggling company.

The automaker’s flagship vehicles are being manufactured at “a very slow rate” at its Ohio factory, the company said in a press release following the fresh infusion of money from Foxconn, a major electronics product manufacturer in Taiwan.

Vehicle production at the fledgling plant in Lordstown has been hindered by an unfinished assembly line and the lack of regulatory approval to sell the trucks.

The rollout has run into financial trouble despite fanfare that emerged after the vehicle’s prototype was shown to then-President Donald Trump on the South Lawn the White House in September 2020.

The cash deal will give Foxconn additional decision-making powers at Lordstown in exchange for financial backing that will help the company build 30 new electric pickups by the end of 2022, with 500 remaining trucks coming online by summer 2023.

Lordstown initially wanted to build 50 trucks by the end of 2022, but a lack of cash and capital has so far resulted in only 12 new vehicles with just seven full weeks remaining in the year.

On Tuesday, news of the deepening alliance sent Lordtown’s market shares soaring above 15% in trading ahead of the opening bell.

In May, Foxconn purchased Lordstown’s Ohio assembly plant — previously owned by General Motors — for $230 million.

Foxconn’s latest cash investment will be paid to Lordstown in three installments — the first $52.7 million will be wired later this month — and raise Foxconn’s ownership stakes in the company to about 18%.

The growing partnership also allows Foxconn to have two voting members on the company’s board of directors moving forward.

The two companies also plan to work together to develop a new electric vehicle.

Costs related to building the pickup have been a major factor in its delay, with the expected sales price falling well below the dollar amount to build it.

And Lordstown is still seeking to partner up with another American automaker in an effort to accelerate production.

The company reported a net loss of $154 million in the third quarter of 2022.

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