Truck maker to finish first prototypes in March

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2021

A fledgling electric vehicle maker in Ohio expects to complete the prototypes of its new pickup truck in March and remains on target to start full production in the fall, the company said yesterday.

Lordstown Motors Corp. said it already has begun metal stamping and welding for the Endurance all-electric pickup truck prototypes, which will be used for testing.

Full production of the Endurance pickups is slated to begin in September at the former General Motors Co. assembly plant near Youngstown, which Lordstown Motors bought in 2019.

The company took over the plant after GM ended its more than 50 years of car manufacturing at the plant. The automaker employed 4,500 workers there just a few years ago.

Lordstown Motors acquired the plant with the help of a $40 million loan from GM. The startup said it will hire hundreds of people to build to the first line of Endurance trucks, but its long-term plan is to add thousands of jobs.

It currently has nearly 350 workers, mainly at its Ohio headquarters and its research center in suburban Detroit. The company said it expects to have around 1,000 employees by year’s end.

It also said yesterday that it is working on plans that will be released later this year for a new electric van that initially will be used as a recreational vehicle in a partnership with Camping World Holdings Inc.

The company announced earlier this month that it already has more than 100,000 orders for the light-duty truck, which is mainly being sold to commercial customers such as utility companies and municipal governments.