LORDSTOWN – Electric vans could be shipped from Lordstown sooner rather than later, according to a statement from Foxconn Chairman Young Liu.
In an interview with Nikkei Asia, a major Japanese media outlet, Liu said on Sunday: “Our self-developed electric bus will hit the road in Kaohsiung (southern Taiwan), electric vans made in cooperation with Lordstown will start shipping in the second half of this year.”
The Taiwanese electronics giant, best known for making Apple’s iPhone, agreed last fall to buy Lordstown Motors’ 6.2 million square foot factory – the former factory of assembly of General Motors – for 230 million dollars.
Foxconn made a $100 million deposit and agreed to another payment of $50 million on February 1.
On Wednesday evening, after hearing about Liu’s statement, Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber CEO Guy Coviello said, “I’m not surprised.
“We’re much more confident about this because it’s coming from Foxconn rather than a startup,” said Coviello.
Startup Lordstown Motors has had a tumultuous 2021: the company’s founder, CEO Steve Burns, and chief financial officer Julio Rodriguez abruptly left in June, several months after a report that Lordstown Motors had misled investors into mistake triggered several lawsuits. Prior to that, the company’s flagship Endurance pickup caught fire on its very first test drive.
In August Dan Ninivaggi was named the company’s new chief executive, and in September the deal with Foxconn was announced.
This contract also included Foxconn and Lordstown Motors agreeing to enter into a contract manufacturing agreement for the Endurance and enter into a joint venture agreement to co-design and develop vehicle programs for the global commercial fleet market.
Starting in November, commercial production was expected to be delayed until the third quarter of 2022, although Liu’s recent statement suggests otherwise.
Coviello said experiences with Foxconn so far have been “very positive.”
“Everything indicates that they are going to be very good corporate citizens in our community”, said Coviello.