: Lordstown says electric pickup-truck orders are ‘not binding’

Lordstown Motors Corp. said in a filing Thursday that preorders for its electric pickup truck “do not represent binding purchase orders or other firm purchase commitments,” dealing another blow to the beleaguered electric-vehicle maker.


shares were off nearly 3% in midday trading Thursday.

The agreements are a “significant indicator of demand” for the truck, called the Endurance, but are not binding, Lordstown said in the filing.

“As previously disclosed in our Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 8, 2021, to date, we have engaged in limited marketing activities and we have no binding purchase orders or commitments from customers,” Lordstown said.

The company was seeking to clarify comments by its executives at an event on Tuesday, in which they characterized the orders as firm.

Earlier this week, the company said that an internal investigation had also found issues with the way it portrayed the orders, a lifeline for the auto maker ahead of the promised launch of the pickup later this year.

Lordstown’s top executives, including its founder, have resigned, and the company last week added a “going concern” warning to a delayed filing and has sought to reassure Wall Street it was in “active conversations” with more investors.

Lordstown stock tanked more than 50% on Monday after the EV maker said that founder and CEO Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez had resigned, with interim executives appointed. It reiterated its plan to start “limited production” of its electric trucks in late September.

In a separate document on Monday, Lordstown also detailed an internal investigation about allegations by short seller Hindenburg Research, which in March published a scathing report on Lordstown, calling it a “mirage” and accusing the company of inflating demand and production capabilities.

The company called the report “in significant respects, false and misleading,” but did admit to “issues” about how Lordstown Motors characterized the preorders of the Endurance electric truck, having said they were mostly firm commitments from commercial fleets.

Many of the preorders, however, came from fleet-management companies and other end “indicated interest in purchasing Endurance trucks,” as well as “so-called ‘influencers’ or other potential strategic partners that committed to attempt to secure preorders from other entities, but did not intend to purchase Endurance trucks directly,” the company’s report said.

At least one undisclosed party with “a large number” of preorders “does not appear to have the resources to complete large purchases of trucks, the company’s report said. Other entities provided commitments that appear too vague or infirm to be appropriately included in the total number of preorders disclosed,” the company’s report said.

Lordstown Motors went public in October through a reverse merger with a blank-check company.

Its Ohio plant belonged to General Motors Co.
which made compact cars such as the Cruze there. The factory was slated to close as part of GM’s shift to more popular and profitable trucks and SUVs. It was then sold to Lordstown Motors.

The stock has lost 47% this year, contrasting with gains of around 13% for the S&P 500 index.

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