Best known for manufacturing small electronic devices for companies around the world, Foxconn will soon be branching out to assemble automobiles in Ohio. On Wednesday, the Taiwanese Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (traded as Foxconn) closed on a deal with Lordstown Motors to purchase a 6.2 million-square-foot plant that used to belong to General Motors.
The $230 million deal leaves Foxconn with the facility and 400 Lordstown manufacturing employees it’s supposed to use to assemble the delayed Endurance pickup. Though the long-term plan is to use the plant to become a contract manufacturer akin to Magna Steyr, with an emphasis on all-electric vehicles.
The troubled Lordstown Motors has announced it will be selling its Ohio production facility to the Taiwanese Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn. But this is not a case of the prospective automaker offloading its assets so it can pay off its debts in full retreat. Instead, Lordstown has asserted this is a necessary partnership that will help guarantee it can still deliver the all-electric Endurance pickup truck.
Terms stipulate that Lordstown Motors will sell the sprawling factory to Foxconn for about $230 million. Two years ago, the site was purchased from General Motors for a very breezy $20 million after the Detroit-based manufacturer decided to abandon the Chevrolet Cruze. Foxconn will also be buying up $50 million worth of common stock and effectively take responsibility for production at Lordstown Assembly. However there is a laundry list of things that need to be done before pickup assembly is even an option.
Lordstown Motors has entered into the phase where an EV startup has to tread water now that everyone knows it failed to disclose various production hurdles and shared inaccurate information about the pre-orders it has been bragging about. The only thing offsetting this bad situation is that our misgivings regarding Lordstown could probably be a little worse. Nikola and Faraday Future told some real whoppers, while the Ohio-based company appeared to have at least one toe dipped in the waters of truth. But we can’t exactly call lying a little less than the competition a major triumph.
It remains a bad situation, particularly because Lordstown lost CEO Steve Burns almost immediately after stating the company was “highly dependent” on his leadership in June. However, the firm said it had remedied the situation by appointing Daniel Ninivaggi as the new chief executive on Friday.
Rivian wants to dazzle you with excessive range and dirt-flinging tank turns. Ford wants you to feel virtuous while behind the wheel of an F-150. General Motors wants to crush things beneath the wheels of the monstrous GMC Hummer EV.
Lordstown Motors’s electric pickup, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be everyone’s best friend. The fledgling automaker, owner of GM’s former Chevy Cruze plant in Northeast Ohio, unveiled its first product Thursday, beating Ford and GM to an electric 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.
A fledgling electric vehicle company with a sprawling former General Motors plant in its possession will reveal its first model in late June.
That’s according to Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns, who said the debut of the Endurance, originally slated for the Detroit auto show, will take place online instead. A full-size pickup that shuns internal combustion, the Endurance will face still competition from the Likes of Ford, Rivian, and GM in the emerging segment, though Lordstown doesn’t plan to stop there.
Lordstown Motors is just one of the contenders vying for buyers in the yet unrealized electric pickup segment and, like the others, it isn’t immune (pardon the phrasing) from the coronavirus pandemic’s fallout.
After moving into a mothballed General Motors assembly plant in Northeast Ohio late last year, Lordstown Motors now says the virus has pushed back its production plans.