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Lion Electric lays off 100 more workers after $100 million earnings loss

SAINT-JÉRÔME, Que. — The Lion Electric Co. says it is laying off 100 more employees or about seven per cent of its total workforce in a move to reduce costs.

The move affects workers — mainly on the nightshift — at its Saint-Jérôme factory in Quebec’s Laurentian region.

The maker of electric buses and trucks also laid off 150 employees last fall.

In a release Thursday, the company says the decision stemmed largely from delays around the granting of government subsidies, namely the federal Zero Emission Transit Fund.

Lion Electric has said that several school bus orders hinge on the buyers’ receiving grants from the program, which aims to speed up electrification at school bus and public transit operators.

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The announcement comes as the company reported a full-year net loss of $103.8 million versus net income of $17.8 million in 2022, and despite revenue growth of 81 per cent.

The news prompted a roughly 15 per cent drop in Lion Electric's share price, which fell by 35 cents to $1.93 as of late afternoon on Thursday.

“This past year has not been without its challenges, particularly as it relates to a volatile incentive environment that slowed down the pace of orders and deliveries," said CEO and co-founder Marc Bédard in an earnings release.

In the last three months of 2023, Lion Electric delivered 188 electric vehicles, eight per cent more than during the fourth quarter of the previous year.

The company’s order book now stands at about $500 million, composed of 285 trucks and 1,791 buses.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2024.

Companies in this story: (TSX:LEV)

The Canadian Press