LORDSTOWN, Ohio — Lordstown Motors, the all-electric truck maker that’s failed to live up to its own hype, opened its plant doors to reporters on Tuesday to show off progress and combat skepticism about the company’s future.
The event is part of what the company dubbed “Lordstown Week,” five days of showing off the plant and trucks to automotive writers and others, about fifty per day.
The show-and-tell event was more show than tell, with company executives not taking questions from reporters.
The event comes a year after former Vice President Mike Pence helped hyped the company and the comeback of the Mahoning Valley.
But since then, the company has acknowledged production delays, earlier truck order figures were inflated and that it may run out of money next year. Also, two top executives, including its CEO Steve Burns, have resigned recently.
At today’s event, a bevy of company engineers, including chief engineer Darren Post, were on hand. No politicians were there.
The company gave reporters a 90-minute tour inside the plant -- and rides in several prototypes of its Endurance truck.
Engineers took questions about electric motors, battery technology and the giant presses that will stamp out truck bodies. They showed off the speed and capabilities of a truck in the parking lot and on a dirt track.
But they declined questions about the company’s problems. They alluded to earlier production delays by noting what reporters were seeing represents a giant step forward in production. Though the factory floor dedicated to the production of the truck still looked sparse, one engineer noted that it represented a big change from just weeks ago.
Officials say they plan to begin building trucks in September and deliver the first ones to customers in December.
With about 450 people working inside, they hope to produce about 1,000 trucks by year’s end
Off-camera and during a short presentation, executives acknowledged the company’s recent troubles and pledged to be as dedicated to transparency as they are to technology -- and deliver the world’s first all-electric truck.