Back in June 2023, GM Authority reported that Lordstown Motors – the EV startup that bought the GM Lordstown plant in Ohio back in 2019 – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after a dispute with Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn. Now, in yet another twist of fate, Lordstown Motors founder and former CEO Steve Burns has acquired the struggling company’s assets.
Doling out $10 million to buy assets out of bankruptcy, Burns has quite the history with the electric pickup maker when it comes to unusual financial moves. According to a report by FreightWaves, the former CEO claimed roughly 25 percent of Lordstown Motors shares, and began selling shares after a lockup expired. In total, Burns made more than $60 million from selling off his shares, including a large sell-off just before the aforementioned bankruptcy filing.
“It’s just as doomed as ever,” one analyst claimed. “I have no more confidence that Lordstown will gain any market traction than I did yesterday. There’s only soft tooling there. Maybe they could build a couple hundred more trucks, but that’s it. And nobody’s going to buy them.”
It’s worth noting that it’s not entirely clear what assets Burns is gaining, as the Lordstown Motors plant complex itself is owned by Taiwan’s Foxconn.
As a reminder, this recent development is just another aberration in Lordstown Motors’ muddled history. The electric vehicle startup purchased the GM Lordstown plant after General Motors ceased production of the Chevy Cruze at the facility. For selling the plant at a discounted rate, The General was granted roughly eight million shares of Lordstown.
Following a short-seller report in early 2021, General Motors sold its stake in the EV startup, with cofounder and CEO Steve Burns ultimately resigning. Afterwards, Lordstown Motors began acquisition talks with Foxconn, who eventually ended up purchasing the Lordstown plant for $230 million, in addition to investing another $50 million in the electric vehicle manufacturer. The acquisition was completed in May 2022.
The following month, Lordstown Motors filed a complaint in bankruptcy court alleging that Foxconn conducted business in a fraudulent manner.