Lordstown delays launch of electric pickup by a quarter, citing supply-chain issues

By Ben Klayman

DETROIT (Reuters) -Lordstown Motors Corp on Thursday delayed next year’s launch of its Endurance electric pickup truck by a quarter, citing parts and materials shortages and other supply-chain issues, sending shares down 11% in after-hours trading.

The Ohio-based electric vehicle startup, while reporting its third-quarter results, said it would now begin production and deliveries in the third quarter of 2022, rather than in the second quarter that it forecast in August.

“We’re focused on the Endurance. We know we have to get that truck out. It’s been a challenging quarter with raw material shortages, parts shortages, supply-chain disruptions, particularly from international sourcing, but we’re doing everything we can to mitigate it,” Chief Executive Daniel Ninivaggi said on a conference call.

He also cited delayed semiconductor shipments that have dogged the entire auto industry.

“We’re going to do everything possible to get the truck out on our revised schedule,” Ninivaggi added.

Lordstown has struggled with the launch of the Endurance and unwanted attention since a short seller in March accused the company of misleading investors.

Its previous CEO, Steve Burns, subsequently resigned. The company still faces investigations by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to vehicle pre-orders and Lordstown’s deal to go public through a reverse merger with a blank-check firm.

A day after announcing it had finalized a deal for Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Co Ltd to buy Lordstown’s plant in northeast Ohio for $230 million and take over production of the Endurance, Lordstown said on Thursday it also signed a memorandum of understanding with Cox Automotive.

Cox will provide fleet customer service and support for Lordstown’s EVs, including maintenance, vehicle pickup and delivery, battery servicing, repairs and roadside assistance, Ninivaggi said.

Under the Foxconn deal, the companies will pursue a joint-venture agreement to develop vehicles for the global commercial fleet using Foxconn’s MIH vehicle platform. Ninivaggi said on Thursday that Lordstown is working on design ideas off that platform that include a commercial van.

Ninivaggi also said wheel-mounted “hub” motors, which are used in the Endurance, will not be used in every vehicle the company develops.

On Thursday, Lordstown reported a third-quarter net loss of $95.8 million, or 54 cents a share. Analysts had expected a loss of 59 cents a share.

Company executives said they are not providing a financial forecast for 2022 at this time, and Lordstown is expected to end the year with cash balances between $150 million and $180 million, including the expected initial payment of $100 million from Foxconn.

(Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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