Rivian IPO proves Common Motors is undervalued, says GM CEO

GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra speaks to investors at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan on October 6, 2021.

Photo by Steve Fecht for General Motors

The massive reviews from startups for electric vehicles like Rivian that made his public debut on Wednesday on the Nasdaq at a higher share price and market capitalization than General Motors, shows that the old automaker is “so undervalued,” said GM chief Mary Barra on Wednesday.

Rivian stock started trading at $ 106.75 per share, up about 37% year over year IPO price of $ 78 per share and a market valuation of $ 91 billion. This compares to GM at $ 60 per share and a market capitalization of $ 86.4 billion.

“What it sets out to me is the great opportunity. General Motors is so undervalued, “said Barra on Wednesday, without specifically naming Rivian during the New York Times’ DealBook conference.” I see it as a great opportunity for General Motors to achieve significantly more value. “

When asked if her competitors’ reviews made sense, Barra said she didn’t see them that way.

“I see every competitor as someone I respect. And that we have to get better, have to be faster, have to have vehicles that consumers want, that solve the property equation,” she said. “So that’s how I see it. I would say, if anything, it motivates me to work even harder.”

Rivian is recognized as a pioneer in EV startups that can rival the leading electric vehicle Teslaas GM and other traditional automakers invest tens of billions of dollars in the emerging market segment.

GM was interested in investing in Rivian, but its biggest rival, Ford engine, invest in the EV start-up instead. Ford, which owns about 12% of the start-up, convinced Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe that Ford would be a better fit than GM, as reported recently from the Wall Street Journal.

GM has announced plans to invest $ 35 billion in electric and autonomous vehicles by 2025, since there is Goals exceed Tesla until then in domestic EV sales.

Common Motors unveils new high-end GMC Sierra Denali and AT4X pickups

DETROIT – General Motors launches two new high-end GMC Sierra 1500 pickups, including one called Denali Ultimate, which will start at more than $ 80,000 – making it the most expensive half-ton full-size pickup on the market.

The new models aim to build on Sierra’s already high profit margins and average transaction prices, which stand at $ 53,342. That includes $ 61,695 for the current Denali 1500 pickup truck, which starts at around $ 57,700.

The other new pickup is the AT4X, a more luxurious and all-terrain pickup than the current AT4. of the brand, from $ 74,995. It has many but not all of the technical improvements like the Denali Ultimate with off-road parts and accessories. It also has less chrome on the outside and opts for more darkened features and tires.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate

GM

“There is an opportunity to add even more luxury and even more capabilities. We believe there is a market for it. There are people willing to pay an even higher price, ”said Duncan Aldred, GMC’s global director, during an interview earlier this year.

The new models are part of an updated range of full-size pickups for the 2022 model year that includes a refreshed exterior and a redesigned, more technologically advanced interior on most models. The trucks will debut online Thursday night and during an ad on Thursday Night Football between the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns.

The updated models offer a digital display greater than 40 inches diagonally, including a new 13.4 inch diagonal color touch screen, a 12.3 inch digital instrument for the driver and a 15 inch head up displays. Both the AT4X and Denali Ultimate have a standard 6.2-liter V-8 engine that delivers 420 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X

GM

While the GMC Sierra shares its bones the Chevrolet Silverado, The automaker has specifically differentiated both the pickups and the brands in recent years. The differentiation has allowed GM to continue to bring the GMC brand to market, although many of the vehicles share platforms and features with Chevrolet vehicles.

According to GM, the vehicles should go on sale in the spring of next year. The automaker is accepting refundable reservation deposits of $ 100 on GMC’s website for the Sierra 2022 models.

Starting prices for the 2022 GMC Sierra range range from $ 32,495 for a work-oriented pickup to $ 80,395 for the Denali Ultimate. The price includes a mandatory target fee of $ 1,695.

GMC isn’t the first to offer a truck with a starting price of more than $ 80,000. Ford engine offers a handful of pickups above this price point, but they’re bigger super duty trucks than the GMC Sierra 1500.

Denali Ultimate

GM executives have Denali as one of its leaders Profit gems for many years. It started as a small trim on the Yukon SUV in 1999, but has expanded to include every vehicle of the brand in recent years.

The Sierra Denali Ultimate is a fully loaded vehicle equipped with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free freeway driving system, which will be expanded upon the company’s announcement 22 models by 2023. The technology will be available on the regular Denali, but not by default.

The 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate features GM’s Super Cruise hands-free highway driving system.

GM

“The very first Sierra Denali Ultimate Trim is the most advanced and luxurious pickup in its class and takes the popular Denali sub-brand to an even higher threshold for capable luxury,” GM said in a press release on Thursday.

Other features include a pickup bed made of carbon fiber composite, high-quality suspension and driving components, massive 22-inch wheels, full-grain leather interior and open-pore Paldao wood paneling in the interior.

AT4X

GM calls the AT4X a “balanced design that offers advanced off-road capability” without sacrificing comfort on the road.

Like many other automakers, GMC wants to benefit from increasing sales of SUVs and the demand for all-terrain vehicles. The looks and characteristics of such vehicles have become more popular with mainstream consumers in recent years.

2022 GMC Sierra 1500 AT4X

GM

The vehicle has an upgraded suspension system and other off-road parts and accessories like a two-speed transfer case for rock crawling.

GM’s Chevrolet brand also launched a new off-road model for the last month Silverado 1500 is called ZR2.

Correction: The new 2022 GMC Sierra pickups with V-8 engines produce 460 foot-pounds of torque. In an earlier version, the number was incorrectly specified.

Lordstown Motors to promote Ohio plant to Foxconn for $230 million

Lordstown Motors has reached a fundamental agreement to sell its giant Ohio assembly plant to iPhone maker Foxconn for $ 230 million, the companies said late Thursday.

Under the agreement, the Taiwan-based electronics contract manufacturer will assemble Lordstown Motors’ first product, an all-electric pickup truck called Endurance, which the company plans to manufacture and sell starting next year.

Sale of the facility to Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Technology Group, will provide capital for the start-up of electric vehicles and at the same time give Foxconn a start-up aid for the production of electric vehicles. Foxconn also has a deal with a start-up Fisker Produce electric cars in the next few years.

“The partnership would allow Lordstown Motors to benefit from Foxconn’s extensive manufacturing expertise and cost-effective supply chain, while Lordstown Motors can focus on bringing the endurance to market, developing service offerings for our fleet customers and developing innovative new models,” said Lordstown- CEO Daniel Ninivaggi in a statement.

Bloomberg reported first Companies were “close to an agreement” earlier in the day, adding up to 21% in Lordstown stock Thursday before pulling back and closing at $ 7.98, up 8.4%. In after-hours trading, the share gained a further 7.4%.

As part of the proposed transaction, Foxconn will also acquire approximately $ 50 million in Lordstown common stock. The EV start-up then plans to rent part of the former lease on a long-term basis General Motors and Foxconn will provide jobs to Lordstown’s operations and manufacturing staff.

“In addition to achieving our goal of advancing our schedule of building electric vehicle manufacturing capacity in North America, it also reflects Foxconn’s flexibility in providing design and manufacturing services to various EV customers,” said Young Liu, chairman of Hon Hai Technology Group in a statement.

Lordstown was running out of money trying to make money Start production of perseverance. The company said in June it would exist “considerable doubts” of its ability to continue production of the Endurance for the next year due to funding issues.

While Taiwan-based electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn is best known for its iPhone production, it is trying to expand its production to include electric vehicles.

Workers install door hinges on the body of a prototype endurance electric pickup truck at the Lordstown Motors assembly plant in Ohio on June 21, 2021.

Michael Wayland / CNBC

The EV start-up bought the 6.2 million square foot facility in Lordstown, Ohio, in 2019 from General Motors, which ceased operations at the facility as part of a restructuring plan. The startup reportedly bought the facility for $ 20 million, a fraction of its total value, and GM has provided the company with both financial and operational support with suppliers.

GM owns 7.5 million Class A common shares of Lordstown. It received the shares in EV company for an equity value of $ 75 million, most of which were in kind and related to the sale of the property.

Aside from its financial troubles, Lordstown has Wil be inspected from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice regarding its initial public offering and potentially false or misleading statements by former management including company founder and ex-CEO Steve Burns.

Burns and his CFO left the SPAC-backed company in June after an internal investigation found “issues related to the accuracy of certain statements” regarding Lordstown’s pre-orders, specifically the seriousness of the orders and who placed them.

In May, short seller Hindenburg Research said the company had misled investors, including using “fake” orders to raise capital for its Endurance electric pickup truck. The short seller also said the pickup was years away from production. Lordstown has kept its plan to start manufacturing the vehicle in September.

Lordstown previously said the internal investigation found that Hindenburg’s report was “fundamentally incorrect and misleading”.

Lordstown Motors new administration says it could search cash from GM

In a reversal, Lordstown Motors’ new management said the company was not that bad after all, with enough confirmed pre-orders for its electric pickup to start production this fall with enough money to go through early next year.

The sunnier outlook comes days after the company stated in a government filing that it did not have enough funds to start commercial production and has a “going concern,” a legal phrase that suggests it does may not make it.

The startup then ousted its CEO and founder Steve Burns and CFO Julio Rodriguez on Monday. An inside report Tuesday interviewed 17 people who had worked with Burns. Some portrayed him as a visionary entrepreneur and others as a salesman who bent rules and didn’t keep promises.

But during an Automotive Press Association webinar on Tuesday heard by more than 240 reporters, Lordstown Motors’ new CEO and Independent Director Angela Strand said it was “a new day at Lordstown Motors and there will be no disruption to day-to-day operations . “

Lordstown Motors’ president, Rich Schmidt, who runs day-to-day operations, said the automaker was ready to begin building the endurance pickup in September. Around 15,000 pickups will be built by May 2022.

“We currently have enough funds to get us through the fourth quarter by May 2022,” said Schmidt. He said the company had $ 400 million “in the bank”.

But to grow it will need more funding and ask General Motors, an early investor in Lordstown Motors, for additional capital, Schmidt said.

GM is ready to listen

Lordstown Motors bought its northeast Ohio plant and equipment from GM in 2019 after GM closed the former Lordstown assembly plant.

“We have a good working relationship with GM,” said Schmidt. “We’ll talk to our original investors first, but that’s not our only option. We’ll raise the funds because we need money after May.”

GM owns approximately 5% of Lordstown Motors or approximately 7.5 million Class A common shares in exchange for an equity value of $ 75 million in the company.

GM’s equity stake primarily reflects the selling price of the plant, equipment and the value of the in-kind contributions GM has provided to help Lordstown Motors complete the purchase and bring it to market.

Despite all of Lordstown Motors’ recent troubles, GM has kept its stake, including a $ 125 million loss in the first quarter and an ongoing investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into research firm Hindenburg that labeled Lordstown’s vehicle pre-order claim as largely fictitious. Raise capital and give legitimacy. “

When asked if GM would be willing to invest more capital in the startup, GM spokesman Jim Cain said: “We are happy with our current relationship with Lordstown Motors and have no plans to change it, but we are ready to move on Suggestions to hear the sense of bot. “

GM facilities

Schmidt has been with Lordstown Motors since November 2019, around the time the company bought GM’s 6.2 million square meter factory.

Schmidt, an automotive veteran who has worked at Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Volkswagen, JD Power, and Tesla Motors, said Lordstown Motors is now actively raising money but did not provide details.

The interior of the Lordstown Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio.  It will be converted in order to build the fully electric endurance pickup from 2021.

In November 2019, Lordstown Motors commissioned Cleveland investment bank Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. to raise $ 450 million to convert the plant.

By May 2022, Schmidt expects Lordstown Motors to have $ 25 to 50 million in cash. He said he was confident that once endurance production begins later this year, investors will see that the company “has great growth opportunities”.

On the one hand, the start-up costs were reduced by the fact that many of the former GM devices could be used in the factory, said Schmidt.

  • GM’s body shop used to manufacture the Chevrolet Cruze small car is suitable for Endurance. A new body shop would have cost $ 500 million.
  • GM’s paint shop only needed $ 14 million to convert, and it would cost $ 300 million to build a new paint shop.
  • GM built a new assembly line in 2016, a new assembly line would have cost $ 5.5 million.

Schmidt said the company has contracts with suppliers that set different costs for raw materials, although some materials like steel have increased in price. Most of the Endurance is made of aluminum, but the company has increased the starting price of the Endurance by $ 2,500 to $ 55,000.

Endurance Alpha, Lordstown Motors' first running version of the electric light pickup truck outside of the company's Detroit Engineering Center.

The Lordstown Motors plant is largely complete, said Schmidt. The automaker will start programming its paint shop this week and will build the line for installing the hub motors in July. The Endurance is powered by four motors in the hub of each wheel.

Some investors criticized the durability of the hub motors and urged Lordstown Motors to abandon the idea, but chief engineer Darren Post, who worked for GM for three decades, said, “We’re sticking with the hub motors. They are long-lasting and they are and are powerful.”

A union shop?

But the company has changed when it comes to unionizing the workforce.

About this time last year Burns told the Free Press that the work employ 4,000 to 5,000 people one day, as the case may be on request for the endurance. At the time, Burns said he would allow the UAW to organize if workers opted to unionize.

The jobs are reported to cost about $ 17 an hour, a few dollars less than what a new line worker at the Detroit Three pays per hour in the UAW’s current contract. Burns did not want to confirm a salary figure at the time.

According to Schmidt, Lordstown Motors currently employs 600 people, 130 of whom work at its development center in Farmington Hills and a few dozen in California.

When asked if Schmidt and Strand, as Burns said, were open to a union organizing campaign, Schmidt said: “We have no position on it. That is more of a question for our employees.”

He said the team is creating a culture where employees “feel like family” and the company is currently offering free breakfast and lunch. The employees also participate in the company’s success.

Schmidt said the company executives had an “unofficial off-site meeting” with the UAW “just to go over the process,” but there were no other active discussions.

In response to Schmidt’s comments, UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada, director of the UAW Organizing Division, said, “We agree with President Biden that we can build better. Building better means we can protect the environment while providing well-paid union jobs. We are disappointed that the company appears to be more interested in non-union than in working with the UAW and other stakeholders to make the company successful. “

But Schmidt said employee morale was good despite the management restructuring, poor first quarter, and other issues.

More:Fully electric pickup catches fire in Michigan – and experts warn it could happen again

More:Lordstown Motors, accused of falsifying electric vehicle orders, is facing an SEC investigation, reports said

“We’re on the same path that the former CEO suggested … the same schedule, the same marketing plan … we just have to go a little faster and make decisions a little smoother,” said Schmidt.

More:UAW stands ready to fight GM to unionize 2 new battery plants

More:Lordstown Motors, a GM investment, announces CEO and CFO resignation in major restructuring

Contact Jamie L. LaReau at 313-222-2149 or jlareau@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @jlareauan. Read more on General Motors and sign up for ours Auto newsletter. Become a subscriber.

Electrical automobile agency Lucid Motors to go public in $11.eight billion blank-check merger

The Lucid Air sedan, which is slated to go into production at a facility in Arizona next year.

Clear

Electric vehicle company Lucid Motors plans to go public with a combined stock valuation of $ 11.75 billion and a pro forma stock value of $ 24 billion through a reverse merger with a blank check company founded by veteran investment banker Michael Klein.

The deal between Lucid of Newark, California and Churchill Capital Corp IV is the largest in a series of such amalgamations involving EV companies and blank check companies, also known as Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs).

Previous SPAC dealt with EV startups like Nikola, Fisker and Lordstown Motors scored less than $ 4 billion in pro forma valuations, but Lucid is ahead of these companies. Lucid will deliver its first vehicle – a Luxury sedan called Air – this spring.

The deal will generate approximately $ 4.4 billion in cash for expansion plans for Lucid, including the current Arizona factory.

Shares of CCIV fell around 30% to $ 40 in expanded trading.

Lucid is run by ex-Tesla Technical director and automotive veteran Peter Rawlinson, who joined the company in 2013 as Chief Technology Officer before adding CEO to his duties in April 2019. He will continue to assume these roles after the business is expected to close in the second quarter, according to the companies.

Lucid was founded in 2007 as Atieva, a name it now uses for its technical and engineering division that supplies batteries for the Formula E electric circuit. The company initially focused on electric battery technology before changing its name to an electric vehicle manufacturer in 2016, three years after Rawlinson joined the company to lead technology development.

Lucid struggled with some difficulty raising capital to fund his plans until he received $ 1 billion from the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund in September 2018.

Rawlinson described SPAC deals last year as easy money, but not enough capital to get a vehicle into production, which companies like Fisker To seek contract manufacturers.

Prior to the announcement at Klein’s company, Rawlinson said the company had the funds to begin producing the air at a facility in Casa Grande, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix.

The new funding is intended to support Lucid in its expansion plans. Rawlinson expects the Air to be the catalyst for a number of future all-electric vehicles, including an SUV starting production in early 2023, and cheaper vehicles across the board.

Lucid currently employs almost 2,000 people. The US is expected to employ 3,000 people domestically by the end of 2022.

The deal includes a total investment of around $ 4.6 billion. It is funded with $ 2.1 billion in cash from CCIV and a fully committed PIPE of $ 2.5 billion at $ 15 per share from the Saudi Arabian state fund, as well as funds and accounts held by BlackRock, Fidelity and managed by others.

Will Alpha Motors promote the retro-cute EV type different automakers have shunned within the US?

The flood of EV startups enables car designers to do very exciting work. While mainstream automakers produce endless crossovers with the same predictable truck-inspired design, Alpha Motors’ idea for a “crossover” is more like a vintage rally car than a modern electric vehicle.

Launched earlier this month, the Alpha Motors Jax is the latest in a line of tiny, retro-cute electric cars. Most of these cars won’t be available in the US, but Alpha Motors is an American company (based in Irvine, California). Maybe the Jax is a retro EV that we won’t miss. If Alpha Motors can get it into production, then it will.

The Jax, short for “Junior All-Terrain Crossover”, shares a basic platform and design with Alpha Motors’ Ace Coupé. Changes include a sturdy roof rack, front and rear push rods, and chunky tires. While the Ace is a proper two-door coupe, the Jax also appears to have a set of rear half-doors – much like the Mazda RX-8 sports car from the early 2000s.

The Jax is offered with single-engine front-wheel drive or twin-engine all-wheel drive and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds, according to Alpha Motors. A 75-kilowatt-hour battery offers a range of 250 miles, according to the company. Alpha Motors also offers 62.5 cubic feet of “combined storage” (the car has a frunk) and a towing capacity of 1,850 pounds.

Alpha Motors Jax

In contrast to the retro exterior, the four-seat interior is reminiscent of the minimalist look of the Tesla Model 3 with a large central touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster on an otherwise bare dashboard. However, you won’t see any fabric door handles in a Tesla.

Alpha Motors is hoping the US will finally get a retro electric city car after missing out on that Honda E. and the latest Fiat 500e. The Renault 5 is expected to return as an electric car as well, but it’s a long way for the US

However, Alpha Motors is still a startup that hasn’t built a single car. So the Jax is far from safe.

Alpha Motors is currently taking reservations for the Jax, which will start at around $ 38,000, but has discussed a production schedule. This uncertainty is typical of the many EV startups that want to challenge established automakers.