Ed Hightower, CEO at Lordstown Motors Corp. RIDE, embarked on a trip to Taiwan for a meeting with Foxtron, an affiliate of Foxconn Technology Group, to discuss the development of a new electric vehicle. However, the Foxtron CEO failed to show up, marking the beginning of a series of complications, Bloomberg reports.
A Fruitless Trip
Despite spending three days in isolation due to Covid-19 protocols, Hightower was unable to secure the necessary engineering drawings, data, and licensing agreements from Foxtron to kickstart the project. After nearly two weeks, Hightower returned home, unsuccessful in his mission.
Bankruptcy and Lawsuit
Lordstown Motors filed for bankruptcy after failing to establish a partnership with Foxconn that would have positioned it as the engineering arm for Foxconn’s US electric-vehicle operations. Lordstown also sued Foxconn for breach of contract and fraud. Foxconn, however, accused Lordstown of misleading the public and failing to adhere to the investment agreement terms.
Failed Promises and Financial Struggles
Lordstown, once a promising EV startup, became one of the first casualties of the easy-money era. Despite raising $675 million through a reverse-merger with DiamondPeak Holdings, the company struggled to deliver on its promises, including beating Tesla Inc., GM, and Ford Motor Co. to market with an electric pickup.
Allegations and Legal Actions
Lordstown alleges that Foxconn intentionally stalled the partnership to acquire the factory for its own EV ambitions in the US. After taking over the plant, Lordstown claims that Foxconn failed to make payments towards the development of certain vehicles and did not provide access to essential engineering drawings and vehicle designs.
Looking for a New Partner
Lordstown is currently seeking another automaker to partner with. The Endurance, Lordstown’s electric truck, could be used by another manufacturer to quickly enter the electric truck market or be adapted for a battery-powered SUV, according to Hightower.