With production of its Endurance electric pickup truck stalled by a recall, Lordstown Motors appears to be moving on to a next-generation vehicle platform developed in close collaboration with Foxconn.
The next platform is "becoming a greater portion of our company's focus," Lordstown's fourth-quarter 2022 financial results presentation said, adding that Lordstown's next vehicle "will likely source key components and subsystems" from Foxconn, and will likely be built at the same Ohio factory as the Endurance.
Lordstown purchased that factory, located in the company's namesake town, from General Motors after the automaker shut it down. But in 2022 it inked a deal to sell the factory to Foxconn, which would in turn manufacture the Endurance under contract. The next-generation EV platform was also part of this deal, with Foxconn expected to use it for some of its own vehicles.
Endurance production started late last year under that arrangement, but Lordstown recently paused production ahead of a recall that it's still working through. It's since clarified that the recall is due to a potentially faulty high voltage cable connecting the inverter and motor. This could cause loss of power, and prevent the truck from being restarted once turned off, according to the recall notice.
The recall affects just 19 trucks, some of which have made it into customer hands, representing about half of the vehicles built so far. In the presentation, Lordstown said that through February approximately 40 trucks had been completed or were in the process of being assembled.
"We have sold a total of six vehicles, of our planned initial batch of up to 500 units," the company said. Lordstown had previous set a target of 50 vehicle deliveries for 2022, with 500 for 2023.
As CEO Edward Hightower explained in an update call, Lordstown plans to build those 500, but because of the need for hard tooling necessary to reduce the production cost, and the additional investment needed to achieve that, it may pause production after that if it can't find a partner to help scale up the electric truck.
On a conference call with analysts, Lordstown "reiterated doubt in its ability to continue as a going concern," Reuters reported Monday. CFO Adam Knoll reportedly told analysts on the call that the company is also looking for "significantly more" capital to develop its next EV.
A shift away from the Endurance platform was likely inevitable, if a big change from the company's original plan. Lordstown's previous CEO Steve Burns suggested to Green Car Reports and others that consumer deliveries and personal-use products were part of the plan on the Endurance platform. But the company took a pivot away from that plan with his departure, in the wake of a scandal in which the company inflated the number of confirmed orders.
Whether or not Lordstown survives, the Ohio factory should remain busy. Other plans for the factory include the Fisker Pear and Indi One electric cars, and a self-driving electric tractor.