Lordstown Motors confirms fed probe of merger, EV pickup orders

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

Lordstown Motors Corp. disclosed this week federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating the electric-truck startup's vehicle pre-orders and its merger with blank-check company DiamondPeak Holdings Corp.

Shares of the Ohio-based company were falling nearly 1%, more than major market indexes, on Friday morning after the company filed an amended registration statement on Thursday. The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued two subpoenas for information regarding the merger and the pre-orders of the electric Endurance pickup truck.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Lordstown Motor Corp.'s statements on pre-orders of its electric Endurance pickup.

"The Company has cooperated, and will continue to cooperate, with these and any other regulatory or governmental investigations and inquiries," the automaker said in the filing.

The Wall Street Journal earlier this month reported the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York was investigating Lordstown for the Justice Department.

The confirmation comes after several rough months for Lordstown as it tries to rewrite its narrative, moving from an embattled company to one that's pushing forward with plans to start producing its commercial pickup in September. 

Lordstown's troubles started with a March short-seller report claiming the startup misled investors. Then came a regulatory filing, with Lordstown warning it may not survive into next year without additional funding. 

Last month, former CEO and founder Steve Burns resigned following an internal board review of the short-seller report that found "inaccurate" disclosures about pre-production orders. 

Shortly afterward, a new team of executives opened up Lordstown's northeast Ohio assembly plant to investors, media and analysts to push a different story: Lordstown has no distractions and is ready to make electric trucks.  

Lordstown acquired its sprawling assembly plant from General Motors Co. in 2019 after the Detroit automaker stopped production there. GM has backed Lordstown with in-kind and cash contributions. 


Twitter: @BreanaCNoble