Lordstown Motors Aims for Late June Pickup Debut
It’s the smallest player in the nascent electric pickup segment, but it wants to be among the first — if not the first — to field such a product. That would be Lordstown Motors Corp., the fledgling automaker that took ownership of General Motors’ sprawling assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio last November.
From that 6.2 million square foot facility, the company hopes to realize its dream of competing with Ford, GM, Rivian, and others with its Endurance pickup — a full-size EV powered by four in-wheel motors built on site. There’s not long to wait for a debut.
On Monday, Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns provided an update on the Endurance, claiming the kiboshed Detroit auto show and ongoing coronavirus pandemic made an online debut necessary. This reveal will take place at a company meeting the week of June 22nd, Burns said, with video and still images provided to the public and would-be buyers before the end of the month. (What you see here are renderings.)
“It’s not how we’d envisioned unveiling the Endurance, but in the absence of being able to gather a large crowd to see it in-person, this is the next best thing,” Burns added.
While LMC’s goal are lofty, it finds itself in the less-than-desirable position of having to get retooling out of the way and production underway in a compressed time frame if it wants to enter the market ahead of, or at least at the same time as, its domestic rivals. Then there’s the issue of cash. The fledgling company didn’t have much time to amass much of a war chest ahead of time, though it claims it has the necessary dough to fund planned activities. At least it got a deal on the GM plant (recall that rival Rivian picked up Mitsubishi’s former Normal, Illinois plant for a song).
Last month, LMC offered an update on the Endurance’s development:
Initial set-up of the 20,000 square foot production line, which [Elaphe Propulsion Technologies Ltd.] will help manage and support, has already begun, and while the project will take 9 months to get to full production capacity, Lordstown will begin using the new lines within the next 6 months for beta testing and pre-production vehicles. Every Lordstown Endurance that rolls off the line will use Elaphe Model L-1500 Endurance In-Wheel Motors built in the Ohio plant.
Speaking of Rivian, that Michigan-based company plans to start deliveries of its R1T pickup early next year — a year that should also see the launch of the Ford F-150 EV and GMC Hummer EV.
Once that’s accomplished, all that’s left is for the public to start buying these things.
[Images: Lordstown Motors Corp.]
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June 22nd is the day when Nazi Germany attacked Soviet Union and USSR joined the WWII. I would suggest Lordstown to respectfully reconsider the date of debut.