“Rebranded and Revamped: The Resilience of Lordstown Motors against Foxconn”

A decade ago, both Fisker Automotive and Coda sold themselves off to other buyers in their Chapter 11 restructurings. Now known as Nu Ride Inc., the reconstituted version of Lordstown Motors will also pursue “potential business combinations,” though it did not say what kinds of mergers it is seeking. It sold the former General Motors factory it once owned to Foxconn; the assets related to its electric pickup truck were snapped up by Lordstown founder Steve Burns. Lordstown Motors sued Foxconn in June 2023 when it initially filed for bankruptcy protection. Lordstown’s lawsuit has more or less been on hold while the Chapter 11 proceedings played out.

Lordstown Motors has emerged from bankruptcy with a new name and a clear focus: taking on iPhone-maker Foxconn in a legal battle over the alleged “destruction” of an American startup.

In a regulatory filing on Thursday, the company announced that it has successfully implemented a Chapter 11 restructuring plan approved by the Delaware Bankruptcy Court. This achievement makes it one of the few electric vehicle startups to survive the bankruptcy process in some form, although greatly diminished.

Electric Last Mile Solutions was liquidated through a Chapter 7 proceeding in 2022, while IndiEV’s ongoing Chapter 11 process is still playing out in California. Fisker Automotive and Coda, both of which filed for bankruptcy in the past decade, were able to sell off their assets to other buyers.

Now under the rebranded name of Nu Ride Inc., the new version of Lordstown Motors will also explore potential mergers and acquisitions. However, the company is starting from scratch as it has sold off its former General Motors factory to Foxconn, and Lordstown founder Steve Burns has acquired the assets related to the electric pickup truck.

With the restructuring plan now in effect, Nu Ride will be run by a completely new board of directors and executives. It will be traded on the over-the-counter markets as “NRDE.”

The newly-named company faces not only the ongoing lawsuit against Foxconn but also multiple investigations and lawsuits. The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Lordstown with misleading investors about the potential success of its electric pickup truck, resulting in the company setting aside $25.5 million to settle shareholder lawsuits. The agency and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are still conducting their investigations.

Lordstown Motors initially sued Foxconn in June 2023 when it filed for bankruptcy protection. The startup claimed that the Taiwanese conglomerate had deceived them about collaborating on a range of electric vehicles. While the Chapter 11 proceedings were ongoing, the lawsuit was put on hold.

Foxconn is now running the factory that was formerly owned by Lordstown, and has even produced a small number of the startup’s electric pickup trucks. However, these trucks had to be recalled, and Foxconn’s efforts to become a contract manufacturer for American EVs have mostly failed. Two of its four potential customers, Lordstown and IndiEV, ended up in bankruptcy, and reports suggest that Fisker may follow suit. Additionally, Fisker has distanced itself from the conglomerate and instead expressed interest in partnering with an established automaker. The only vehicles currently being produced in the Ohio factory are tractors for California-based Monarch.

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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