Lawmakers Want More Info on Lordstown Motors Deal With Foxconn

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13, expect to meet with executives of Lordstown Motors Corp. to learn more about plans to sell the former General Motors Lordstown plant to Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group.

“I am closely following reports that Foxconn may purchase the former GM Lordstown plant and look forward to learning more from Lordstown Motors on their plans for the facility,” Ryan said in a statement Thursday. “I plan to meet with company officials soon to discuss what this decision means for jobs in our community and how it will help the Mahoning Valley remain a leader in electric vehicle production.”

Bloomberg reported early Thursday that electric-vehicle manufacturer Lordstown Motors was nearing a deal to sell the former General Motors Lordstown plant to Foxconn.

Lordstown Motors purchased the factory from GM in November 2019 after the automaker ceased production of the Chevrolet Cruze and closed the plant.

Brown also has questions about the deal and expects to meet with executives soon to learn more about their intentions, noting that previous attempts to get information fell upon deaf ears.

“Lordstown Motors arrived in the Mahoning Valley with promises of jobs and economic growth,” Brown said in a statement. “I have asked LMC to explain their plans for Lordstown and its workers and I am still waiting.”

In July, Brown wrote a letter to Angela Strand, interim CEO of Lordstown Motors, asking the company to provide a “detailed plan” regarding its future plans in the Mahoning Valley. The senator’s request came after months of volatility at the company, including the resignations of CEO Steve Burns and its chief financial officer and warnings that the company may not have enough cash to remain in business through next year.

“There are two key questions for LMC and Foxconn: what does this mean for jobs in Lordstown? What are their plans to ensure that the Mahoning Valley is the leader in electric vehicle production?” Brown asked.

“I expect to meet with LMC and hear their plans in the coming days. I look forward to learning about Foxconn and their plans for Lordstown.”

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice have opened investigations into Lordstown Motors Corp. regarding alleged misstatements about preorders for the Endurance pickup and its merger with DiamondPeak Holdings Corp.

Brown recently stepped up pressure on companies such as DiamondPeak, a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, that took the EV automaker public in October 2020.

Last week, Brown and three fellow Democratic senators sent letters to some of the most prominent SPACs, including DiamondPeak, to provide more information on how they operate.

Lordstown Motors is slated to produce the Endurance, an all-electric pickup that will target the fleet market. A limited number of pre-production models were to be manufactured by the end of September, the company has said.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.