The two new executives who replaced the recently departed CEO and CFO at troubled EV truck maker Lordstown Motors have insisted there is 18 months’ worth of firm orders to hand and that production will start in September at the former Chevrolet Cruze assembly plant it took over from GM.
Angela Strand, Lordstown’s new executive chairwoman, Rick Schmidt, president and Darren Post, chief engineer sat down with the Automotive Press Association for a virtual question-and-answer session, reported TheDetroitBureau.com.
“It’s a new day at Lordstown,” Strand said. “There are no disruptions and will be not disruptions to our day-to-day operations.”
The report said the company claimed to have enough confirmed orders to produce trucks for nearly 18 months.
Lordstown had earlier been accused in a report by short-sellers Hindenburg Research of exaggerating the number of orders it had for its vehicles, describing some as “fake”.
But Schmidt said the company had enough “binding” orders to keep it running for all of 2021 and through May 2022. “Those are firm orders we have for those two years,” he said, according to TheDetroitBureau.com.
“I don’t know the exact facts of the legal aspect of that, but they are basically binding orders that are committed here in the last two weeks, reconfirmed orders,” he said. “They’re pretty solid, and I think that’s on the light side or conservative side.”
Schmidt also confirmed production would begin, as planned, at the end of September with the first production-ready vehicle set to be delivered in 2021, the report said.
He also reportedly addressed the “cash crunch” the company was experiencing, saying it had enough money to build vehicles until May 2022. He noted at that point, it would have somewhere between US$25m and $50m left.
“We have enough to get through 2022,” he said. “We don’t have an issue with funding.”
According to TheDetroitBureau.com, Schmidt confirmed the company was looking to raise more money because it doesn’t have enough “hard” tooling in place to expand current limited production capacity. That would improve cash generation and profitability because it would be able to get some economies of scale, especially on material costs.
The company can only build 20,000 vehicles annually and will build about 15,000 trucks between January 2021 and May 2022, according to Schmidt.
That’s well below the expected run rate laid out in the original plan, TheDetroitBureau.com said.