Foxconn CEO Young Liu spoke with Asia's Nikkei newspaper and revealed that Lordstown Endurance deliveries are expected to start this year.
I'm not sure how true that's going to be but it'll be very interesting to see if they can pull it off.
Last November, Lordstown Motors closed the deal to sell its manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio, to Taiwanese electronics manufacturing conglomerate F
Last November, Lordstown Motors closed the deal to sell its manufacturing facility in Lordstown, Ohio, to Taiwanese electronics manufacturing conglomerate Foxconn. The plant went for $230 million, and could have been decorated with one of those banners reading, "Under new management!" On top of that, Foxconn put down another $50 million for an equity share of Lordstown Motors that opened up a joint-venture development deal for commercial EVs for North American and international markets. That part of the deal should have come with its own banner: "There's a new sheriff in town." That's how you get Foxconn Chairman Young Liu saying in an interview with Asia's Nikkei newspaper, "Electric pickups made in cooperation with Lordstown will begin shipping in the second half of this year," and nary a peep from executives at the aspirational electric vehicle maker.
A few days later, Lordstown Motors posted a picture of at least three pre-production Endurance pickups at the facility. The caption explained, "Thanks to our collaboration with Foxconn, our pre-production vehicles are rolling out of assembly and into diverse testing environments." This would be the second foray into pre-production that we know of, and everyone will hope it goes better than the first. Last February, when powertrain engineers took one of the first Endurance prototype for its first drive, the pickup caught fire after 10 minutes, and burned to a crisp. None of the three engineers in the truck were hurt, and of course that's the point of prototypes and testing — to catch issues like fire hazards before customers get their homes burned down. We're sure there have been a lot of lessons over the past year that will make this latest version better.
If Liu can be believed, we'll all be finding out within the next 11 months. When the factory sold, Lordstown execs (not Liu) said Endurance deliveries would begin one quarter later than planned, in Q3 of this year. Liu's new statement makes us think December could be more likely, especially if prototype testing has only recently begun. The lack of clarity about the whats and the whens is an effect of more than just the Foxconn deal; Lordstown got a new CEO and CFO in August last year, then it scrubbed information about the Endurance from its website as "a reminder for everyone that we're geared toward fleet customers and so we don't communicate with them through our website necessarily." Also, investigations by U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan and the Securities and Exchange Commission need to be dealt with.
If prototype testing goes well, we image we'll start hearing more about the Endurance come the middle of the year. Meanwhile, Foxconn will be playing its own EV hands after showing three electric vehicle concepts of its own, built on its Mobility in Harmony open EV architecture, and it also has a deal to co-develop and build a Fisker EV called the PEAR at the Lordstown, Ohio, plant.