Earlier this year, Ohio’s Lordstown Motors teased the idea of having the first electric pickup in the U.S. market. But now, with Rivian R1T deliveries already happening, the Ford F-150 Lightning due in May, and the GMC Hummer EV in between, that window of opportunity has long passed.
On Thursday, Lordstown confirmed a surprising plan proposed in September. With it, the company is selling its former GM plant to Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry—better known as iPhone maker Foxconn—for $230 million. And it confirmed that its long-awaited Endurance electric pickup is now pushed back to the third quarter of 2022 for first deliveries.
Lordstown blamed the delay—another one of many—on “component and material shortages, along with other supply chain challenges.” It said that it has now made about 100 pre-production vehicles.
As part of the deal, Foxconn made an additional $50 million equity investment in Lordstown in October, and Lordstown agreed to pursue a joint-venture agreement with Foxconn under which it’s expected to operate as a contract manufacturer for the Endurance.
The companies will jointly design and develop future commercial-market vehicles, too. But those future vehicles would be on Foxconn’s “Mobility in Harmony” platform, not on the platform shared with the Endurance electric pickup.
“Working collaboratively with Foxconn, we expect to be able to bring future vehicles to market faster and more efficiently,” reported Lordstown on Thursday, alongside a third-quarter financial report.
Under its founding CEO, Steve Burns, who was pushed out in June over allegedly inflated order claims, Lordstown planned to build a whole family of vehicles on the Endurance platform, including an electric van due in 2022, plus a midsize pickup truck and an “industrial-strength” SUV—all including in-wheel hub motors, which it rallied around as a unique selling point and packaging strength. But during a call Thursday following the financial announcement, the company’s new CEO, Daniel Ninivaggi, reportedly downplayed the importance of the technology—which Ford quickly nixed for the F-150 Lightning.
Foxconn hasn’t provided a clear confirmation on what it intends to do with the rest of the Ohio plant, but Fisker CEO Henrik Fisker last month suggested that the facility may allow Foxconn to make Fisker’s $30,000 electric vehicle, called Project Pear. Although the success of Lordstown Motors might remain uncertain, there’s still a good chance something interesting and all-electric will emerge from Lordstown, Ohio.