Lordstown Motors shuffles the chairs on the deck of the Titanic by adding two new independent directors: Joseph B. Anderson Jr. and Laura J. Soave. Each has some experience in the auto field, but neither carries credentials sufficient to help the company. Additionally, CEO Daniel A. Ninivaggi has taken on the board chair role. It is a reward for a remarkable failure to move the company forward in a manner that might keep shareholders from selling the stock toward $0.
Lordstown had some good news, but it should not be seen as anything more than a minor improvement. The company picked up about $260 million in cash as it sold Foxconn an assembly plant. The deal also included a joint venture to “co-develop EV programs using Foxconn’s Mobility-in-Harmony (MIH) open-source EV platform.” It is a little late for that kind of assistance.
Lordstown’s future has been irreparably damaged by decisions from its recent past. Its sole product, the Endurance, will not be available until the final quarter of the year. Between now and then, it is expected Lordstown will continue to bleed money. Based on expected production, that problem will persist through 2023.
The existential threat to Lordstown is the launch of the Ford F-150 Lightning, which will flood the market with a highly regarded electric pickup. There are millions of F-150s in the hands of owners. That makes the customer base of the new version of the vehicle huge. Lordstown lacks a dealer base, production capacity or the brand equity to hope it can press into the market, even for a modest number of sales.
A look at the Lordstown stock chart shows the trend: share price sinking toward $0.
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