Lordstown Motors ‘Not Part’ of Camping World’s Electric Future

LORDSTOWN, Ohio – Camping World Inc. has apparently parted ways with electric-vehicle manufacturer Lordstown Motors Corp., quashing a potential collaboration that was announced six months ago.

“We are launching electric world with an amazing assortment from around the globe,” Camping World CEO Marcus Lemonis announced on Twitter June 18. “Lordstown Motors will not be part of that.”

Lemonis responded to a question as to whether the company was “still in Lordstown” after the resignation of the electric-vehicle manufacturer’s two top executives last week.

In December, Lemonis and former Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns announced a partnership in which Camping World would use its nationwide network to provide service, maintenance and roadside assistance for the Endurance, Lordstown Motors’ all-electric pickup now in the beta stage of production.

There were also preliminary plans to develop a van platform to produce the world’s first all-electric recreational vehicle. During a March conference call with analysts, Burns said the new van would be in production by next year.

However, no deal with Camping World was ever signed. In its restated 2020 annual earnings filed June 8, Lordstown Motors said it was still “in discussions” with Camping World “to build a national service and parts network.”

Lemonis, star of CNBC’s series, “The Profit,” has ties to the Mahoning Valley. His adoptive parents were born in Campbell and told reporters in December that he would spend summers here to visit his cousins.

Weeks before announcing the partnership, Lemonis posted videos on his Twitter account of him taking a drive with Burns in an Endurance prototype.

Lordstown Motors President Rich Schmidt said June 15 during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the Automotive Press Association that the company has developed a prototype of the new van, but has placed the project and its partnership with Camping World on hold so it could concentrate on production of the Endurance.

The company plans to launch limited production of the Endurance in late September.

Lordstown Motors faces a cash crunch, and on June 8 reported in a regulatory filing that it might not have enough funding to last through 2022.

Then on June 14, Lordstown Motors announced the abrupt resignations of its two top executives, founder and CEO Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez. That same day, Lordstown Motors released findings from an internal investigation that determined company executives made misleading and inaccurate public statements regarding preorders of the Endurance.

Angela Strand, Lordstown Motors’ new executive chairwoman, told reporters Monday that the company is working to secure additional capital.

“We are seeking additional funding to scale up our capacity and further automation of our manufacturing processes in order to complete our ramp up,” Strand said. “We are evaluating multiple potential sources of funding in addition to evaluating strategic partners,” she said.

Pictured: In this file photo, former Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns and Camping World Inc. Chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis speak to press during an event at Lordstown Motors in December 2020.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.