Monday, November 28, 2022

Lordstown Motors gets a $170 million boost from Foxconn – Autoblog

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Lordstown Motors Corp. agreed to sell a substantial stake and give two board seats to manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group, replacing a previous arrangement for electric-vehicle production with a new deal.

Foxconn will invest as much as $170 million in the startup through the purchase of preferred stock and 18.3% of common shares, according to a statement late Monday. The transaction will require a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Lordstown shares pared an early jump Tuesday of as much as 29% to trade up 15% to $2.12 as of 10 a.m. in New York. The stock is down about 39% this year. 

The move deepens ties between the two companies, giving Foxconn a sizeable voting interest over the next two years as they pursue a newly announced EV development program together. Lordstown has sought to build its Endurance electric pickup with capital from Foxconn, which has had ambitions to grow in the EV market.

“It’s strengthening the strategic partnership with Foxconn,” Lordstown Chairman Dan Ninivaggi said in an interview. “It’s another step in that direction. It also provides us capital for our jointly developed EV program.”

CFIUS review

Foxconn, the Taiwanese manufacturer best known as the maker of Apple Inc.’s iPhone, can buy 9.9% of the company without a CFIUS review, but would need U.S. government approval to go beyond that. Assuming the deal is approved, Foxconn could own up to 19.9% of the common voting stock. Even if Foxconn buys more shares, it could not exceed that amount of voting stock, Ninivaggi said.

The first tranche of the share sales is expected to close around Nov. 22 as a second common-share sale is pending subject to a CFIUS review. Foxconn also has a two-year standstill on buying new shares in the open market, and has agreed not to buy more stock without Lordstown’s approval. That effectively means Foxconn would have to reopen negotiations with Lordstown to acquire more stock or eventually take over the company.

Lordstown has built 12 of its first batch of 500 production pickups. The rate of production will increase toward end of this month and is expected to total 30 units by end of the year, with the rest built in the first half of 2023, it said. 

The company also is looking for other automakers who want to sell the Endurance under their own brand to get into the electric truck market quickly, Edward Hightower, Lordstown’s president, said on a conference call with analysts.

Foxconn completed a purchase of Lordstown’s Ohio factory earlier this year.

Cash drain

Separately, Lordstown announced third-quarter results, revealing an operating loss of $154.8 million. It ended the period with cash and short-term investments of $204 million, according to a statement. The company reaffirmed its plan to begin Endurance deliveries in the fourth quarter, with an initial production target of 500 units.

Lordstown’s chief financial officer, Adam Kroll, said the company expects to end the year with between $150 million and $165 million in cash. It ended the third quarter with $204 million in cash and short-term investments. 

Foxconn plans to build three-seater

Reuters

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Foxconn-led electric vehicle consortium MIH announced plans on Tuesday for its first car, a boxy single row three-seater which it hopes will be popular with one-child families in Asia.

Taiwan’s Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, has ramped up investment in EVs and semiconductors in recent years, announcing deals with U.S. startup Fisker Inc and Indian conglomerate Vedanta Ltd.

Betting on strong demand in Asian markets for smaller electric cars, MIH Consortium plans to build its first car, which it calls Project X, in 2023 and start mass production the following year, though no customers have been confirmed, the company said.

“We need to do something differently to disrupt the industry,” Jack Cheng, chief executive of MIH, said at an event in Taipei to unveil the EV which will be custom built for the purchaser.

“Build your own vehicle with Project X,” Cheng said, referring to the car’s modular design. “It’s like Lego. I can put (a module) on and take it off easily,” Cheng said.

The three-seater will cost less than $20,000, he said.

Foxconn, the main supplier of Apple’s iPhones, eventually wants to replicate its level of success in assembling personal computers and cellphones as it expands into building EVs.

MIH is eyeing not only Taiwan, but also India, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan as prospective markets for the three-seater.

“The American market tends towards large cars,” Cheng told reporters, adding that this model would suit a single-child family.

“As long it is a place where our partners, including Foxconn, have manufacturing sites, then there is a possibility to mass produce there,” Cheng said.

Cheng said many MIH partners are willing to initially take risks and bear development costs, because they are optimistic about EV sales taking off.

“The more cars we make, the more they will earn,” Cheng said.

MIH Consortium, which includes auto chipmaker NXP and navigation and digital mapping company TomTom among other members, said it plans to build a demo car for a six-seater in 2024, followed by a nine-seater.

Shortly before the MIH event began, Foxconn announced a deal to take a near-20% stake in loss-making U.S. electric truck maker Lordstown Motors Corp for up to $170 million.

 

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Disclaimer: This story is generated from RSS Feed and has not been created or edited by Waba News. Publisher: Autoblog

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