Lordstown Motors says it is running out of cash for its future development of electric vehicles and might be forced to close its doors for good within the next year.
On Tuesday, Lordstown Motors warned that it was facing issues with cash flow and that there is “substantial doubt” about the company’s ability to remain open over the course of the next twelve months. The news sent shares down around 20% during midday trading on Wednesday, CNN says.
Lordstown Motors is based in Lordstown, Ohio, and the company purchased a 6.2 million square foot factory from General Motors in 2019. In addition, the company promised that it would pay union-level wages to workers when it starts manufacturing the Endurance pickup, the truck it planned to release according to a June 2020 unveiling event. The Endurance was set to start at $52,500 and give 250 miles of range with 600 horsepower and 7,500 pounds of towing capacity, but the company’s financials don’t give the Endurance much of a chance of making it to the production and delivery stages.
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Lordstown’s most recent filing said it had $259.7 million in cash on hand. However, this was as of March 31st, and the company posted a loss of over $125 million in Q1 2021, making it substantially difficult to see how the company could continue to operate without sizeable financial backing or assistance at the hands of its large-scale investors, a move that the company admitted it is making currently.
According to the filing, Lordstown said that its doors staying open “is dependent on its ability to complete the development of its electric vehicles, obtain regulatory approval, begin commercial-scale production and launch the sale of such vehicles.” It plans to begin manufacturing the Endurance pickup in September.
After production begins, Lordstown will have to navigate through a highly competitive and quickly-growing sector of companies that are beginning to offer electric trucks. This year alone, two new electric pickups will enter the market: Rivian’s R1T pickup will begin deliveries in July, while the Tesla Cybertruck will begin production and should complete some deliveries by the end of 2021. Additionally, legacy automaker Ford has electrified its F-150, the best-selling pickup in the United States. The F-150 Lightning has accumulated a substantial number of pre-orders at over 70,000, while the Cybertruck is sitting well ahead with 1,000,000 orders.
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Lordstown’s struggling financials were highlighted earlier this year when Hindenburg Research released a report that put the company’s contracts into question. Hindenburg commented on the reports of Lordstown’s financial situation on Tuesday:
“After months of denials, Lordstown is finally beginning to acknowledge its precarious financial state and that its earlier production projections were nowhere close to reality.”
CNN said that Sears also released a similar filing in 2017 that used the same language. The company eventually filed for bankruptcy and only has a small percentage of its stores operating to this day.