Investor's Corner

Lordstown Motors hangs on by a thread, increasing costs and decreasing outlook

Credit: Lordstown Motors

Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE) reported its Earnings for Q4 2021 on Monday morning, revealing increasing costs and a decreased production and delivery outlook has the automaker hanging on by a thread. The company has struggled for the past year to bring its products to market, balancing low cash flow with executive turnover and SEC investigations to keep its doors open.

In the past year, CEO Steve Burns left the company along with several other executives. At the time, the company warned investors that it was short on cash, leading to “substantial doubt” the company would be able to keep its doors open. Current CEO Dan Vinivaggi took over in 2021 and has had anything but an easy journey in his first few months as Lordstown’s chief.

Last year, Lordstown sold its Ohio plant to Foxconn and then delayed the launch of the Endurance all-electric pickup. However, in Q3, it started production of Endurance vehicles to pursue homologation approvals, preparing to begin deliveries of the pickup in Q3 2022.

This morning, Lordstown said it planned to deliver 500 vehicles this year, a far cry from the over 30,000 vehicles Burns and previous executives had targeted for the first year of production. Lordstown will plan to increase production by five-fold next year, the company said on the call.

“Our organization’s top priority remains bringing the Lordstown Endurance full-size all-electric pickup to market as quickly and efficiently as possible,” President Edward Hightower said. “In the fourth quarter and into 2022, we continued to build and test pre-production vehicles that we are using to complete a variety of validation activities needed to achieve full homologation. Despite ongoing challenges securing parts and other supply chain issues, we continue to target commercial production and sales in the third quarter of 2022.”

Lordstown will be going head to head with General Motors, Ford, and Tesla, all of which plan to bring competitive and attractive electric pickups to the market within the next 18 months. Rivian has already started deliveries of the R1T, and GM has delivered several units of the GMC Hummer EV. However, Lordstown’s biggest battle may not lie with external factors, but rather with internal issues, like rising costs. Ninivaggi said materials and components necessary to launch the Endurance pickup have increased, which will push the cost of the truck higher at launch. The CEO stated that, as production increased and supply chain issues were solved, the price of the Endurance truck would improve.

Lordstown shares were trading at just $2.65 per share around noon in New York, down over 17 percent.

Disclosure: Joey Klender is not a Lordstown shareholder.

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Lordstown Motors hangs on by a thread, increasing costs and decreasing outlook
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