US Electric Automobile startup, Lucid Motors, which is supported by Saudi Public Investment Fund is moving ahead with its plan to build the factory and is expected to start manufacturing its debut model in anticipation of delivery early 2021.
Lucid Motors states that the construction has remained on schedule irrespective of the global downturn and subsequent delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials maintain that they’ve been capable to move ahead with the installation of critical assembly-line equipment such as robotic arms and precision tools including stamping presses and jigs.
The Saudi Connection
The company has collected more than $1 billion from the Saudi Public Investment Fund in September 2018 and has not raised any extra money since. Peter Hochholdinger Hochholdinger, Lucid Motor’s Vice President of Manufacturing attributes a “nitpicky” finance team that needs an explanation for every purchase order with managing the company within its budget.
Over the course of a year, Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of the company and former chief engineer of Tesla’s Model S, reemphasized the funds raised from Saudi Arabia’s PIF would be enough to get Lucid through the factory construction to the start of production.
The debut Air model, which is foreseen to sell for more than $100,000, can be bought online, though customers will be able to have personal experience at one of nine showrooms in the US that Lucid charts to open this year in California and Florida. It has further outlets slated for next year in Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Europe.
Lucid so far has avoided virus-related traps other electric-vehicle startups have experienced. China’s Byton has furloughed half its California staff and postponed the start of vehicle production in China. Rivian Automotive, financed by Amazon and Ford Motor, also has held the start of production for its all-electric pickup and SUV.
Lucid says it has truly expedited hiring, adding 120 new employees since mid-March, and is currently exhibiting 250 open positions. The company has not furloughed any of its employees or cut pay or hours, and it’s actively recruiting from competitors.