|Cracking into the auto business was never easy|
Thousands of auto companies tried to get a foothold in the United States in the early days of industry, as this list shows.
It’s never been an easy job. In Monday’s issue, we’ll offer fresh proof, with a status report on electric-vehicle startups and the varied routes they’re taking to viability. Among them:
Bollinger Motors: It’s the only EV startup working on a heavy-duty EV. Engineering continues despite a funding shortage and a lack of an assembly plant.
Canoo: A seven-seat activity vehicle is scheduled to be built at an Oklahoma assembly plant in late 2023. Before that, Canoo will use a European contract manufacturer.
Electric Last Mile Solutions: Pilot production of its budget delivery vans is scheduled for late summer at the former AM General plant in Indiana. A distributor, North Carolina’s Randy Marion Auto Group, will handle some fleet sales.
Faraday Future: After years of struggle, it now says it has the financing for its California factory to produce a vehicle for sale within a year.
Fisker Inc.: Henrik Fisker’s second attempt at starting a company has a deal with Magna Steyr to build the Ocean midsize crossover ($37,499 before tax incentives) in Austria. Deliveries are scheduled to begin late next year.
Lordstown Motors: Federal investigations, shareholder lawsuits, executive churn and a rapidly dwindling bank account have marked the year for the fledging maker of the Endurance pickup. Its wheel hub motor technology holds promise.
Lucid Motors: A fresh injection of funding should help the $169,000 Air Dream Edition be built from Lucid’s Arizona factory later this year. Three other Air trims are planned, as is an SUV and a Tesla Model 3 rival.
Rivian: After delays, the Illinois-built R1T Launch Edition pickup is scheduled to arrive next month, and the R1S SUV is set for a spring debut. With funding from the likes of Ford and Cox Automotive, at least six other EVs are planned. And it has a 100,000-vehicle order from another backer, Amazon.
Workhorse: New CEO Richard Dauch is tasked with gearing up production of the C-Series electric delivery van amid losses in the millions. A delivery drone called Horsefly is designed to work in tandem with the company’s vans.
It’s all part of our second annual series of Intelligence Reports, focusing on pivotal developments in the automotive world. In coming weeks, we’ll put spotlights on lidar technology, digital retailing and the new dynamics surrounding vehicle inventories.
— Dave Versical