Trump shows off Lordstown Motors pickup truck at White House on the eve of Cleveland presidential debate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The day before traveling to Cleveland for his first presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden, President Donald Trump inspected the new “Endurance” electric pickup truck from Ohio’s Lordstown Motors outside the White House, claiming success for boosting the region’s economy after General Motors shuttered its plant that made the Chevrolet Cruze.

“We’ve been working on this very long and very hard,” Trump said on the White House South Lawn, where he examined the vehicle with Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, Dayton Republican Rep. Mike Turner and Trump’s manufacturing policy chief, Peter Navarro. “This is a really unique thing because the four wheels are — hub motor, hub motor — this is the only one that does this in the world. It has a lot of advantages.

“The area was devastated when General Motors moved out,” Trump continued. “Beyond the plant, it’s incredible what’s happened in the area. It’s booming now. It’s absolutely booming. … It’s an incredible piece of science, technology. It’s going to happen now with more and more trucks. And ultimately they say you’ll be able to do it for less money, and it’s better, which is a good combination.”

Portman described General Motors decision to stop producing the Cruze in Lordstown as a “gut-punch” to the Mahoning Valley, a key battleground in November’s presidential election, where Trump and Biden are both aggressively courting voters. He said Trump and his administration have been “very helpful in this effort to bring the jobs to the Mahoning Valley.”

Portman said that in addition to Lordstown Motors producing its truck on the premises of the old GM plant, GM and LG Chem have placed a new joint venture there to make electric vehicle batteries that will hire 1,100 people this year. He said the combination of the two plants will replace roughly the same amount of workers lost from closure of the larger GM plant.

Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns said the plant hopes to produce more than 100,000 of the trucks each year “once we get going,” and intends to come out with multiple models.

In a call with reporters after Trump’s White House event, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown disputed claims that Trump helped bring jobs to the region after the General Motors closure. He accused Trump of abandoning workers at Lordstown and not lifting “a finger to bring those jobs back” after telling workers in the area in 2016 not to sell their homes because he’d improve their economic fortunes if he became president.

Brown said that he himself worked to get Lordstown Motors and the battery plant into Ohio and got “little help from the White House.” He said the jobs from those new employers won’t come close to equalling what the GM plant and all the feeder plants that were part of the whole GM supply chain in the Mahoning Valley” added.

“We begged Trump to help – he did nothing,” said Brown. “We’ve heard mostly empty promises since then … While we

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Lordstown Motors shows electric truck interior, confirms 40,000 pre-orders

Lordstown Motors on Wednesday showed the interior of its Endurance electric pickup truck for the first time. The company also confirmed that it had received 40,000 pre-orders for the Endurance, which is scheduled to start deliveries in late summer 2021.

The four interior photos Lordstown released indicate a no-frills affair, in line with the Endurance’s planned use as a work truck for commercial fleets. Instead of a conventional instrument cluster and infotainment screen, the Endurance has one horizontal screen running about half the length of the dashboard. A handful of analog controls are clustered below that, along with what appears to be a rotary gear selector.

No interior was shown at the official reveal in June, which turned out to be more of a political rally than a vehicle unveiling.

Lordstown Endurance

Lordstown Endurance

Key stats for the Endurance include 600 combined horsepower from four in-wheel hub motors and a 250-mile range.

Lordstown was formed to save the former General Motors factory in its namesake Ohio town. CEO Steve Burns previously ran another company, Workhorse, that developed electric delivery vans and a plug-in hybrid pickup truck called the W-15, which may have formed the basis for the all-electric Endurance.

Several other companies are looking to launch electric pickup trucks in the coming months. That includes newcomers Bollinger and Rivian, established automakers Ford and General Motors, and Tesla, which has never built a pickup truck before but has gotten plenty of attention with its unorthodox Cybertruck.

Most of these trucks are aimed at recreational use, but Ford just last week hinted at cost of ownership and fleet use, saying its F-150 Electric would be a “workhorse, not a showhorse.”

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Lordstown Motors claims it has 40,000 preorders, shows off its new interior

lmc-endurance-interior-sept-2020-1

A business-like interior for a work truck.


Lordstown Motors

Electric pickups look like they’ll be big business with several brands — both legacy and startup — planning to offer them in the coming years. One of the latter is called Lordstown Motors, and it debuted its Endurance pickup back in June. What sets Lordstown apart from its competitors is the fact that it’s exclusively targeting commercial fleets as customers.

That strategy seems to be working because the brand announced on Wednesday that it had received approximately 40,000 preorders for the Endurance. Now, that may not sound like much compared to the half a million preorders that Tesla claims it has for the Cybertruck, but because they’re commercial fleet orders, they might be more likely actually to turn into sales.

Lordstown claims that these 40,000 preorders equate to around $2 billion in sales revenue. That’s not bad for a company of Lordstown’s size. In addition to the preorder announcement, Lordstown took the opportunity to show off the Endurance’s interior a bit more, and it looks, well, fine. It seems modern, but basic and hard-wearing. Exactly what you’d want in a work truck, right?

Now, in case you forgot, Lordstown’s Endurance will offer 250 miles of range, and its main claim to fame is its in-wheel hub motors. We don’t know much about the pack design or any of its performance or towing figures, but they’re probably going to be adequate. 

The company also claims to be close to potentially becoming a publicly traded company. It entered into a business agreement with a firm called DiamondPeak Capital, which is set to close in October. If everything goes to plan, Lordstown will be listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol, “RIDE.”


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GM Will Design and Build Electric Motors in House

Photo credit: Cadillac
Photo credit: Cadillac

From Road & Track

Welcome to The Grid, R&T’s quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.

GM Will Develop and Build Electric Motors In House

As part of its huge investment in EVs, General Motors will design and build a family of electric motors in-house. The company released a few details today on the three electric motors and five drive units, collectively known as Ultium Drive, that will move all of its future EVs. Everything from the next-generation Bolt, to the Cadillac Lyriq (pictured) above, to the new GMC Hummer. “GM has built transmissions for many notable automakers,” said GM EV boss Ken Morris in a statement. “Making motors, transmissions, driveline components and systems are among GM’s best-known competencies, and our manufacturing expertise is proving not only transferable but advantageous as we make the transition to EVs.” It would be cheaper and easier for GM to source motors and drive units from a supplier in the short term, but developing this technology in-house will lower cost in the long term.

Kia to Launch New EV Next Year

Yes, Kia offers an electric version of the Soul (though not in America), but soon, it’ll have an electric car riding on its own dedicated platform. Automotive News reports that Kia will launch a new EV on a dedicated platform next year. It’ll be the first of seven to be launched before 2027, and Kia hopes this new family of EVs will contribute to 25 percent of its global sales by the end of the decade.

Sebastien Bourdais to Return to IndyCar for 2021

French driver Sebastien Bourdais lost his IndyCar seat for 2020 when Dale Coyne Racing decided to hire rookie Alex Palou to pair with Santino Ferrucci. Seb ran sports cars for this year, but soon, he’ll make his IndyCar return. Racer reports that Bourdais will join AJ Foyt racing for the last three races of the 2020 season, in preparation for a full-time drive for next year. It’s great news for Bourdais, who isn’t quite ready to leave IndyCar. “I wasn’t ready to stop last year, and I’m still not,” he told Racer. “So clearly, so we’re going full steam ahead and try and get it done the best we can, so A.J. can enjoy being at the track again and have some good results.”

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