Lordstown Motors shares soar after new chairwoman says production plans remain on track

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The Lordstown Motors Corp. Endurance electric pickup truck sits on stage during an unveiling event in Lordstown, Ohio, U.S., on Thursday, June 25, 2020.
Matthew Hatcher | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Embattled electric truck company Lordstown Motors has enough funding to operate through May 2022 and remains on track to begin limited production of its Endurance electric pickups in late-September following an executive shakeup that ousted the start-up’s CEO and founder, executives said Tuesday.

The company’s new Chairwoman Angela Strand called it a “new day” for the company, which raised bankruptcy concerns after warning investors last week that it had “substantial doubt” about its ability to continue as a going concern in the next year.

Shares of Lordstown Motors soared by as much as 14% during the event before leveling off at about $10.20 a share, up 10.2%.

“It’s a new day at Lordstown and there are no disruptions, and there will be no disruptions, to our day-to-day operations,” she said during a webcast for the Automotive Press Association. “We remain committed to inspiring, building and maintaining confidence and transparency in our relationships with each other at Lordstown and, very importantly, with our customers, our partners, our suppliers and our shareholders.”

The comments come a day after Lordstown’s chairman and CEO Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez resigned from the company after the board released a summary of an internal investigation into claims made by short-seller Hindenburg Research that Lordstown misled investors.

The company said the internal investigation found Hindenburg’s report “is, in significant respects, false and misleading.” The probe, however, did identify “issues regarding the accuracy of certain statements regarding” Lordstown’s pre-orders, specifically the seriousness of the orders and who was making them.

President Rich Schmidt said the company needs more experienced leadership. And while the company didn’t say the investigation led to Burns’ and Rodriguez’s resignations, he indicated the findings contributed, at least in part, to their abrupt departures. “It was a little bit of both,” he said.

Hindenburg accused Lordstown in March of using “fake” orders to raise capital for its Endurance electric pickup. The short seller said the pickup was years away from production, but Lordstown has maintained it’s on track to start making the vehicle in September. The company on Monday said customer deliveries are scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2022.

Strand, who was Lordstown’s lead independent director, is overseeing Lordstown’s transition until a permanent CEO is identified, according to the company.

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