(WKBN) – It didn’t take long. Just hours after news broke of a possible deal between Lordstown Motors and Taiwanese electronics maker Foxconn, automotive publications were suggesting Fisker Motors will use the largely empty Lordstown complex to produce its new “PEAR” electric car through Foxconn.
Friday afternoon, the company’s CEO confirmed it, saying the size of the facility and the nearby workforce were keys.
“All those factors really came together well, and I think, therefore, the plant that Foxconn is planning to acquire is really a perfect fit for us and our vehicle,” said Henrik Fisker.
Fisker describes the “PEAR,” which is short for “Personal Electric Automotive Revolution,” as an affordable car priced under $30,000 and targeting a global audience. It’s currently set to begin production in early 2024, but Fisker said purchasing the Lordstown plant could speed that process considerably.
“Of course, having a plant that’s existing versus a plant that you have to build, you can actually get started quicker, you know, prototyping and everything else, so it may mean that our ‘Project PEAR’ will come to market a little quicker,” he said.
The agreement with Lordstown Motors will see Foxconn take over the unused space at the plant and eventually oversee the production of the new “Endurance” pickup truck.
While the majority of Lordstown Motors’ workforce is here in the Valley, sources indicate there is what’s being called a “huge” potential for new employment as Foxconn, which already has a million employees worldwide, ramps up its plans here and spin-off businesses move into the area to provide supplies.
Although no one from Lordstown Motors is saying anything on the record now about the plans, sources say when and if this deal is finalized, we will eventually see two signs on the plant: one for Lordstown Motors and one for Foxconn.
At this point, the sale agreement is to be finalized by the end of April 2021.
As for Fisker’s plans, because of Foxconn’s existing ties with Apple, could “Project PEAR” could be a precursor for the company best known for the iPhone getting into the electric car market?
“You always have to say you can’t compare apples with a pear, you know,” Fisker said. “Our car is our car. It’s designed by Fisker. It’s our brand name.”
Although Fisker can be seen in an online video teasing the new car, he’s in no hurry to show it off publicly until the time is right.
“We’ll sell it globally, but it’s so radical, both in terms of design and the features, that we do not plan to show it until shortly before we start production,” he said.
Fisker’s company also has another interesting project in the works.
It has an agreement to build the first all-electric popemobile for the Vatican.
Fisker and his wife had a private audience in May to show Pope Francis their early vision.
The new popemobile is based on Fisker’s Ocean SUV, so it probably won’t be built here.
The Ocean will be made by the Magna company in Europe, starting next year.