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Just like they did with Nikola, Hindenburg Research is claiming that Lordstown Motors has been lying about its orders and that they are actually 3-4 years away from production.

They have some interesting evidence to back up their claims. Let's see if Lordstown suffers the same fate as Nikola did.

  • Lordstown is an electric vehicle SPAC with no revenue and no sellable product, which we believe has misled investors on both its demand and production capabilities.
  • The company has consistently pointed to its book of 100,000 pre-orders as proof of deep demand for its proposed EV truck. Our conversations with former employees, business partners and an extensive document review show that the company’s orders are largely fictitious and used as a prop to raise capital and confer legitimacy.
  • For example, Lordstown recently announced a 14,000-truck deal from E Squared Energy, supposedly representing $735 million in sales. E Squared is based out of a small residential apartment in Texas that doesn’t operate a vehicle fleet.
  • Another 1,000-truck, $52.5 million order comes from a 2-person startup that operates out of a Regus virtual office with a mailing address at a UPS Store. We spoke with the owner who acknowledged it won’t actually order any vehicles, instead describing the “pre-order” as a mere marketing relationship.
  • Yet another firm that is supposedly set to buy 500 trucks from Lordstown told us: “…The letters of interest are non-binding. It’s not like you’d obligate yourself to a pre-order or that you would contractually bind yourself to buying this truck. That’s not what they are.”
  • Lordstown CEO Steve Burns has called these arrangements “very serious orders”. The actual customer agreements, which we present for the first time today, require no deposit and are non-binding. Many of the supposed customers do not operate fleets nor do many have the means to actually make the stated purchases.
  • Former employees and litigation records reveal that in order to raise capital and confer credibility, Steve Burns began paying consultants for every truck pre-order as early as 2016 while he was serving as CEO at Workhorse.
  • Later, heading into Lordstown’s eventual go-public transaction in 2020, a small consulting group called Climb2Glory was paid to generate pre-orders. Climb2Glory openly described the purpose behind the pre-order game: “the faster the pre-orders arrived, the greater investors’ confidence would be in the company and the faster funds would flow in.”
  • One company rep that committed to buy 40 trucks through Climb2Glory told us: “…I’m not committed to anything, not to buying a single vehicle. I committed to consider buying vehicles. I’d have a lot of questions before I commit to anything.”
  • Others had similar remarks. “The commitment of that size (15) is totally impossible,” a representative for the City of Ravenna told us about its pre-order. We document numerous other “customers” that disclaim any intent to actually purchase vehicles.
  • Multiple former senior employees who have worked with Lordstown Founder & CEO Steve Burns openly described him as a “con man”, or a “PT Barnum” figure. One senior employee told us that, while working with Steve for a couple of years, they saw more questionable and unethical business practices than they had seen in their entire career.
  • Despite being allowed to resign from Workhorse, former senior employees described how Burns was pushed out of his old company by the board for wasting R&D money and missing promised deadlines. He then launched Lordstown months later.
  • Despite claims that Lordstown will be producing vehicles by September, a former employee explained how the company is experiencing delays and making “drastic” design modifications, putting them an estimated 3-4 years away from production. For example, in mid-January the company “totally switched from a plastic exterior to aluminum,” we were told.
  • Despite claims that battery packs would be manufactured in-house, we were told that the equipment is months away from arriving, let alone being put into a production environment. In the meantime, we were told that battery packs are being put together by hand.
  • Former employees also shared that the company has completed none of its needed testing or validation, including cold weather testing, durability testing, and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) testing required by the NHTSA.
  • In January 2021, Lordstown’s first street road test resulted in the vehicle bursting into flames 10 minutes into the test drive. We share copies of the 911 call and a police report we received through FOIA requests.
  • Lordstown only went public in October 2020, but in that brief time, executives and directors have unloaded ~$28 million in stock. We think it bodes poorly when executives unload stock in a company with no actual product that claims to be on the cusp of mass-production.
  • We think investors, workers, and the local community deserve much more transparency on what is going on at Lordstown. We ask 21 questions at the end of our piece that we think the company should answer.
 

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That sounds familiar
Another stain on EVs
Hope people see why RIVIAN is quiet
Complete opposite in my opinion
JUNE JUNE JUNE JUNE JUNE
NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW
LOL
 

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Yeah these don't sound like committed customers at all...yikes. Why do people think in this day and age that they can pull stuff like this and not get caught?
  • For example, Lordstown recently announced a 14,000-truck deal from E Squared Energy, supposedly representing $735 million in sales. E Squared is based out of a small residential apartment in Texas that doesn’t operate a vehicle fleet.
  • Another 1,000-truck, $52.5 million order comes from a 2-person startup that operates out of a Regus virtual office with a mailing address at a UPS Store. We spoke with the owner who acknowledged it won’t actually order any vehicles, instead describing the “pre-order” as a mere marketing relationship.
  • Yet another firm that is supposedly set to buy 500 trucks from Lordstown told us: “…The letters of interest are non-binding. It’s not like you’d obligate yourself to a pre-order or that you would contractually bind yourself to buying this truck. That’s not what they are.”
  • One company rep that committed to buy 40 trucks through Climb2Glory told us: “…I’m not committed to anything, not to buying a single vehicle. I committed to consider buying vehicles. I’d have a lot of questions before I commit to anything.”
  • Others had similar remarks. “The commitment of that size (15) is totally impossible,” a representative for the City of Ravenna told us about its pre-order. We document numerous other “customers” that disclaim any intent to actually purchase vehicles.
 

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This is going to be very interesting. Lordstown is going to be releasing their first quarterly report even though they haven't produced a truck yet.


Lordstown Motors Corp.’s first-ever quarterly report is likely to be overshadowed by broader concerns about customer demand and progress on getting production going at the electric-vehicle startup.

The 2-year-old company, which trades under the ticker RIDE, is scheduled to post results after the market closes March 17. Lordstown said March 15 it’s still on track to start building its Endurance all-electric pickup truck for commercial fleets in September and promised to give an update during its earnings call.

Along with several smaller EV companies, Lordstown was thrust into the spotlight last year as shares of industry leader Tesla Inc. staged a spectacular climb, taking the whole group along for the ride. Investors crowded into the sector as governments in Europe, China and the U.S. took a more aggressive stance to encourage clean transportation.

The company plans to make pickup trucks, a category increasingly popular with American consumers, using a technology that places an electric motor in each wheel of the car, making it more energy efficient.


Shares of the Lordstown, Ohio-based EV maker rose steadily after its late-October merger with a blank-check company. They reached a high in mid-February, then lost half their value amid a broader sell-off as investors grew wary of richly valued stocks. The stock’s plunge over the past month wiped out all the gains since it started trading as a public company after the merger, cutting the shares to $15.22 as of March 16 and leaving Lordstown’s market value at $2.5 billion.

The latest blow came last week, after short seller Hindenburg Research published a note alleging the company has “misled investors on both its demand and production capabilities.”

‘Potshots’
That’s not true, founder and CEO Steve Burns said in an interview earlier this month. “We’re a startup. It’s easy to take potshots, especially when you’re short in a stock,” Burns said. “You’re going to get haters.”

Hindenburg’s last run-in with an EV stock didn’t go well for the target. In September last year, Hindenburg accused Nikola Corp. of “deception” and lying about its technology, eventually leading to the ouster of its chief executive, multiple regulatory probes and a scaling down of a partnership with General Motors Co.

Lordstown is followed by six analysts, with three recommending buying the stock, two who say sell, and one with a hold rating, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas is among the bears, citing the high risk for Lordstown in executing its business plan.

“The company’s radical new hub-motor technology has never been commercialized at scale in the light vehicle market,” Jonas wrote in a note last month, while initiating coverage on the stock.

Lordstown shares dropped as much as 4.5% on March 17, ahead of the results and amid a broader selloff in the U.S.-listed EV stocks after European automakers Volkswagen and BMW announced their electrification ambitions this week.
 

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Lordstown is DOA. F-150L was the end of any chance they could meaningfully compete in their preferred marketspace. Ford will destroy them with equal to better feature partity, better base pricing for fleets, better service for fleets, and better higher-end options for consumers.

I won't even park my R1T within 50 foot of an Endurance if they really do manage to produce something for consumers in the next 6 months, like they've said they intend to. If you're going from 1st production mule spontaneously combusting to consumers driving within 6 months..... I mean... no thanks. I'll let some other pyromaniac be the test guinea pig.

I think we're quickly moving past the ability for a startup to enter the market without them doing something vastly different than the mainstream players. Canoo is the only other startup I am currently aware of that I think has a real chance of making something of themselves, and I'm a bit down on them lately (even being a shareholder) since they've dropped their subscription-based model. That seemed like a perfect fit in the market and there's no competition in that type of arrangement. Sad, but hopefully they'll still pull through.
 

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