EV startup Lordstown Motors made headlines when it purchased a 6.2 million-square-foot factory from General Motors in 2019. Now, it looks like the strapped-for-cash startup will likely sell that facility to Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group.
The news was first reported by Bloomberg, who said unnamed sources suggested the deal could close as early as this week. Lordstown executives had said during a second-quarter earnings call that the company was in “serious discussions” with partners to lease the northeast Ohio facility to other companies, so news of the sale isn’t a total surprise.
While financial details of the transaction were not disclosed, Lordstown would reportedly operate in the facility in parallel with Foxconn -- an arrangement that could, in the end, be a net benefit for the beleaguered EV maker, which would receive both a cash injection and Foxconn’s mass-manufacturing expertise.
Foxconn, though best known for manufacturing Apple’s iPhone, has made major strides to enter the electric vehicle manufacturing market over the past few years. The company has inked deals with EV startup Fisker to co-develop and manufacture a new electric vehicle, and Foxconn will also start manufacturing up to 50,000 vehicles at a Thailand factory in partnership with Thai oil supplier PTT PLC.
Foxconn’s ambitions don’t end there: the manufacturer envisions itself as becoming a contract manufacturer for automakers, and it formed a joint venture with Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to provide design, R&D and manufacturing to OEMs looking to sell EVs.
Lordstown is aiming to deliver the first models of its flagship electric truck "Endurance" to a small group of customers early next year. The company named a new chief executive in August, after former CEO Steve Burns resigned following concerns over the company’s coffers. CEO Dan Ninivaggi was instated scarcely a year after Lordstown announced its $1.6 billion SPAC merger.
At their 52-week highs, Lordstown shares hit $31.80 apiece. They’re now trading at $7.88.
TechCrunch has reached out to Lordstown and Foxconn for comment and will update the story if they respond.