- Lordstown Motors, which began producing the electric Endurance truck in limited quantities last fall, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
- Foxconn, which is building the Endurance at a factory in Ohio, pulled out of a $170 million investment in Lordstown earlier this year, putting the nascent electric automaker in jeopardy.
- Lordstown also filed a lawsuit against Foxconn, alleging that the electronics company breached the terms of the investment agreement.
The Lordstown story may be coming to an end. The struggling automotive startup filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today and is offering its Endurance electric pickup and related assets for sale. Lordstown Motors was founded in 2018 and built a handful of trucks starting in September 2022 before halting production to address quality issues in February.
The bankruptcy filing comes just months after Lordstown Motors admitted there was “substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern,” a dire forecast prompted by a delisting warning from Nasdaq in April. The warning—issued as the company’s share price had closed below $1 a few months earlier and failed to recover—caused Lordstown to breach its investment agreement with Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn.
Foxconn has bought the Lordstown, Ohio, plant from the eponymous automaker in 2022, is investing $50 million into the EV startup, and is building the Endurance under contract. Foxconn had agreed to another investment of $170 million in November 2022, but a delisting warning from Nasdaq caused Foxconn to hesitate, threatening to pull out of the deal if Lordstown did not resolve its stock listing situation.
Lordstown countered that the terms of the contract did not allow Foxconn to exit the agreement and that the breach claims in the agreement were baseless. Along with filing for bankruptcy, Lordstown also announced today that it is filing a lawsuit against Hon Hai Technology Group, as Foxconn is known in China and Taiwan. The lawsuit focuses on Foxconn’s “deception and willful and consistent failure to meet its commercial and financial commitments to the company,” according to Lordstown. The startup claims that “Foxconn’s actions lead to material harm to the Company and its future prospects.”
It is unclear what will happen to some of the Endurances produced, and whether they are still in customer hands, with the February production pause also including the recall of 19 vehicles. While Chapter 11 bankruptcy is typically structured as a reorganization aimed at keeping businesses afloat, Lordstown’s plan to sell its Endurance trucking assets leaves the question of what will be left behind by the end of the process.
Regardless of whether Lordstown comes out the other side intact, the bankruptcy filing serves as a stark reminder that, despite the boom in EV startups in recent years, it’s incredibly difficult to create an automaker from scratch and bring a car to market.
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Associate News Editor
Caleb Miller started blogging about cars at age 13, and he realized his dream of writing for a car magazine after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University and joining Car and Driver team. He loves quirky and obscure cars, aspires to own something outlandish like a Nissan S-Cargo, and is an avid motorsport fan.