Take a tour of Lordstown Motors with CEO Steve Burns

Tony Markovich

Like the rest of the automotive manufacturers, electric vehicle startup Lordstown Motors was recently forced to change its future schedule to adapt to the situation caused by the spread of the coronavirus and outbreak of COVID-19. In a recent announcement, Lordstown said it now plans to begin deliveries of its Endurance electric pickup truck in January 2021 rather than December 2020. Lordstown is still configuring the factory to accommodate building the new vehicle, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Burns recently narrated a tour through the facility.

Lordstown Motors is located in Lordstown, Ohio, and headquartered at the old General Motors (GM) manufacturing plan that produced the now-defunct Chevrolet Cruze sedan in a previous life. The 6.2 million-square-foot plant was opened in 1966 and produced more than 16 million vehicles during its time as a GM operation. Lordstown Motors benefits from the equipment and setup that already existed rather than building something from the ground up. 

"It's a gem of a building," Burns says in the opening of the video. "The plant itself is very, very capable. It's very modern, even though it's 53 years old." 

It might be modern, but it still requires countless hours of work to turn it into a facility that can produce electric vehicles.

“If we were to build this from scratch, it just wouldn’t be possible," Burns added. "They aren’t going to make buildings like this again. We’re taking it, we’re reconfiguring it for our purposes, and we’ve been really pleased with the equipment here and the resources we’ve been able to find. To produce a vehicle is not trivial. It takes a lot of automation and a lot of people, and this plant has been perfect for us.”

The video begins at the stamping press, which takes in metal that comes in through the back of the building. The tour then moves to a branch of robotics that welds the bare parts into the form of the vehicle. It then goes through the painting process, and then onto assembly. For now, the tour does not show any parts or people, so it requires some imagination, but it gives a general look at how things work. Watch the full video above, and read more about the Endurance electric truck, which will use in-hub motors to produce roughly 600 horsepower and will have a 200-mile range, in our full report.

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