'Haters gonna hate': Lordstown Motors responds to short-seller that accused the startup of faking orders

  • Lordstown Motors’ CEO on Monday responded to a short-seller’s claims that the startup faked orders. 
  • “There’s always haters,” CEO Steve Burns said. 
  • The report by Hindenburg Research alleged that Lordstown misled investors by pumping up preorders.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Electric-truck maker Lordstown Motors has a blunt message for the short-seller whose negative report alleging fake orders sent its stock sliding 16% Friday: “Haters gonna hate.”

“There’s always haters,” Lordstown CEO Steve Burns told reporters during a press conference at the company’s Ohio plant on Monday, local outlet WKBN reported. “I quoted Taylor Swift to somebody the other day: ‘Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. You gotta shake it off.”

The comments are in response to a lengthy report published Friday by the short-selling firm Hindenburg Research, which accused Lordstown of exaggerating the amount of preorders it has for its Endurance pickup to generate investor interest. 

“Lordstown is an electric vehicle SPAC with no revenue and no sellable product, which we believe has misled investors on both its demand and production capabilities,” Hindenburg said in the report. 

Read more: The 6 biggest things we learned about Nikola founder Trevor Milton from talking to dozens of his friends and colleagues

Hindenburg cited multiple preorder holders who it said had no intention of following through with buying a truck. The firm also alleged that Lordstown is years away from producing the Endurance, even though the company says production will begin this year. 

Burns told Bloomberg on Friday that Lordstown had always stated that its preorders were non-binding. The electric-vehicle startup said in a Monday statement that it “remains on track” to start building the Endurance in September, and that it plans to respond to Hindenburg’s accusations at a later date. 

In September 2020, Hindenburg published a report accusing EV startup Nikola and its founder, Trevor Milton, of “intricate fraud” that defrauded investors. The report caused a deal with General Motors to fall through and led to Milton’s departure from the company. In February, following an internal probe, Nikola acknowledged that Milton made several inaccurate statements. 

Lordstown went public in October through a reverse merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that valued it at $1.6 billion. Its market value was roughly $2.5 billion as of Tuesday. 

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