Electric truck maker nears agreement to sell iconic Ohio plant
By Terry Troy
What do the iPhone and an electric truck have in common? Possibly the same company, and maybe even the same plant. Lordstown Motors, the beleaguered, would-be electric truck manufacturer, is nearing an agreement to sell its iconic Ohio factory to Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group, an Apple partner that manufactures the iPhone. Particulars of the deals were not immediately available. Foxconn was not available for comment.
Lordstown Motors purchased the iconic Mahoning Valley based manufacturing facility from General Motors back in 2019. The facility, which once employed nearly 10,000 workers, had a checkered past, once manufacturing the Chevrolet Vega and most recently manufacturing the Chevy Cruze.
The SEC and the U.S. Justice Department have been investigating Lordstown Motors following an internal probe earlier this year that revealed its management had made inaccurate statements about pre-orders for its new electric pickup, the Endurance.
If the sale goes through, it would bring much needed funds to help Lordstown realize the manufacture of its pickup. According to analysts familiar with the companies, Lordstown could sell the facility and operate it in parallel with Foxconn, making better use of the 6.2 million square-foot facility.
For Foxxconn, the deal dovetails into the company’s early launch of an open EV platform, signing a deal with Fisker, Inc., and forming a partnership with Thailand conglomerate PTT pcl. Earlier this year, the company said that Wisconsin might be the site of its first U.S. automotive venture, but that deal never went through.
However, the Lordstown deal might be a stepping stone for Foxconn to make EVs for Apple, with production of the Apple Car on the horizon. The company is obviously trying to build on its smartphone success by investing in the EV business just as companies like Apple are investing in technologies for next generation mobility.
Prices of Lordstown Motors stock surged after the news of the potential deal came to the forefront.