Lordstown Motors Claims Late-June Pickup Reveal, Future SUV

A fledgling electric vehicle company with a sprawling former General Motors plant in its possession will reveal its first model in late June.

That’s according to Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns, who said the debut of the Endurance, originally slated for the Detroit auto show, will take place online instead. A full-size pickup that shuns internal combustion, the Endurance will face still competition from the Likes of Ford, Rivian, and GM in the emerging segment, though Lordstown doesn’t plan to stop there.

Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Burns said he plans to make good use of the former Chevrolet Cruze plant’s 6.2 million square feet. Following the June reveal, reservation holders should get their hands on the Endurance starting in 2021. After that, Burns envisions an SUV and a midsize electric pickup.

To do that, Lordstown needs cash, and Burns remained pretty silent on the financial front, saying only that things are track, coronavirus notwithstanding. Initial fundraising efforts had the plant’s retooling effort in mind, which carried a price tag far above that of the plant itself. GM offloaded in a $20 million fire sale. To build the Endurance, which Burns says has already amassed several thousand pre-orders, the plant expects to hire about 600 workers next year. A larger cohort will be required in 2022.

Eventually, the plant could play host to workers numbering 3,000 to 4,000, Burns said. Prophetic or a pipe dream, history will bear that prediction out.

“We didn’t buy a mass volume plant like this and not plan to fill it up,” Burns told Freep. “This is a gem of a building built for volume manufacturing.”

The plan is for Lordstown to build 30 pre-production Endurance trucks by December, then start fulfilling orders. Production of battery packs and in-wheel motors will be an in-house affair — out of necessity. It’s made progress on that front, licensing with Elaphe Propulsion Technologies to built the Model L-1500 Endurance In-Wheel Motor. That news came May 12th.

With sustained demand unsure given the segment’s current ethereal form and the lengthy list of future players, Lordstown plans to drive scale with models sharing the Endurance’s platform. “The architecture is easy to change for a midsize pickup or an SUV, so we’re trying to accommodate multiple vehicles besides the Endurance,” Burns said.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC

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