Steve Burns, the former founder and CEO of Lordstown Motors, a company with aspirations to produce electric pickups in an inactive General Motors facility in Ohio, has reacquired the bankrupt company’s assets. This surprising development follows Burns’ resignation from Lordstown in 2021, shortly after a critical report on the company’s state by Hindenburg Research. Lordstown, facing financial challenges and having delivered only a limited number of trucks to customers, filed for bankruptcy protection in June of the current year, prompting the sale of its remaining assets.
Burns, now the founder, CEO, and majority shareholder of LAS Capital (Land, Air, and Sea), successfully acquired Lordstown Motors’ remaining assets for a nominal sum of $10 million last month. LAS Capital encompasses various transportation-related companies in its portfolio, including Greenstreet, which manufactures an electric three-wheeler; Ryse, specializing in electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft; and Blue Innovations Group, led by Lordstown’s former vice president of propulsion, John Vo, planning a 30-foot, 10-passenger electric day boat.
The acquisition, conducted through LAS Capital, has resulted in the formation of a new entity called LandX, where Burns maintains the majority ownership. Despite skepticism from some industry observers about the asset’s value, Burns remains committed to Lordstown’s Endurance trucks, expressing confidence in the company’s unique hub-motor platform. He emphasized plans to develop several vehicles on the Endurance platform and hinted at a forthcoming lineup announcement.
Julio Rodriguez, Lordstown’s former chief financial officer who resigned alongside Burns, now serves as an “indirect manager” at LAS Capital, according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) acquisition documents. The acquisition process revealed that no other parties expressed interest in meeting the terms for the entire asset package, leading to LAS Capital’s successful bid.
The $10 million asset sale’s specific components remain unclear, but it presumably includes assembly lines, related machinery, inventory, custom software, and intellectual property. Notably, the factory building, along with a GM/LG Energy Solution battery plant adjacent to it, is excluded from the deal.
While some industry analysts express doubt about the value of the assets, Burns remains optimistic about the future of Lordstown Motors. He affirmed his belief in the Endurance trucks, highlighting the support from customers, including the military, and asserting the company’s dedication to innovation and product development.
Lordstown Motors faces challenges in a competitive electric pickup market, with the Ford F-150 Lightning, Tesla Cybertruck, Rivian R1T, and Chevrolet Silverado EV already in the market or nearing production. Despite the hurdles, Burns, with a track record in leading electric vehicle companies, is determined to revitalize Lordstown and its electric truck offerings.