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Workhorse bypassed for USPS contract; Lordstown Motors will endure

"Lordstown Motors’ business plan was never reliant on Workhorse receiving the USPS contract," a Lordstown Motors Corp. spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday evening.
2020-08-03 burns lmc 2
Lordstown Motors Corp. CEO Steve Burns sits inside the electric pickup truck-maker's Lordstown factory in this February 2020 file photo. (Photo provided)

WASHINGTON — Lordstown Motors isn't fazed by Tuesday's announcement that its affiliate and part-owner Workhorse Group was passed over for a multi-billion-dollar U.S. Postal Service contract.

Though Workhorse was one of only a handful of companies the postal service could have chosen to make its next generation of delivery vehicles, the Cincinnati-based automaker didn't reach the finish line.

The postal service on Tuesday announced it awarded Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Defense the 10-year contract to design and build the vehicle that will replace the service's aging fleet.

If Workhorse, which owns a 10 percent stake in Lordstown Motors, would have been awarded the contract, it was expected the vehicles would have been manufactured at Lordstown Motors' 6.2-million-square-foot headquarters, the former General Motors Lordstown Assembly Complex, which is where Lordstown Motors' all-electric pickup truck Endurance is expected to begin production in September.

"Lordstown Motors’ business plan was never reliant on Workhorse receiving the USPS contract," a Lordstown Motors spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday evening. "If they were awarded it, we would’ve loved to have been a part of the production team, but our focus has always been and will always be to build the most cost-effective, safest, zero emission work vehicles ever made — starting with the over 100,000 Endurances that have been preordered."

Oshkosh would be expected to manufacture 165,000 of the service's next-generation delivery vehicles over the next 10 years, according to a Tuesday release. Those vehicles are expected to hit the road in 2023.

Workhorse, the Ohio-based electric vehicle-maker co-founded by Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns, was one of a handful of bidding companies that remained at the end of the selection process, which was delayed extensively due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USPS officials previously said.

From the Tuesday release:

Under the contract’s initial $482 million investment, Oshkosh Defense will finalize the production design of the Next Generation Delivery Vehicle (NGDV) — a purpose-built, right-hand-drive vehicle for mail and package delivery — and will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 of them over 10 years. The vehicles will be equipped with either fuel-efficient internal combustion engines or battery electric powertrains and can be retrofitted to keep pace with advances in electric vehicle technologies. The initial investment includes plant tooling and build-out for the U.S. manufacturing facility where final vehicle assembly will occur.

Shares of Lordstown Motors (NASDAQ: RIDE) dropped 13 percent to close at $19.68 Tuesday.

Likewise, shares of Workhorse Group (NASDAQ: WKHS) dropped 47 percent to close at $16.47 Tuesday.

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