© Reuters. A Lucid Air electric car is displayed at a shopping center in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S., September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Hyunjoo Jin
By Hyunjoo Jin
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (Reuters) – U.S. startup Lucid Group Inc mentioned on Tuesday it should start delivering luxurious electric sedans with a Tesla-beating driving range in late October, posing a serious problem to the market chief whose gross sales of premium fashions have stagnated.
The California-based Lucid started manufacturing of its long-delayed Lucid Air cars at its Arizona manufacturing unit on Tuesday, and mentioned it goals to ramp plant’s capability up to 90,000 automobiles each year in the following two years.
The top-end Lucid Air Dream Edition can be accessible in late October, adopted by cheaper fashions: Grand Touring, Touring and Air Pure. The firm mentioned it has obtained greater than 13,000 reservations for Lucid Air fashions, and it has elevated the deliberate complete manufacturing of the Lucid Air Dream Edition to 520 automobiles.
A model of the Lucid Air Dream Edition, priced at $169,000, obtained an official U.S. authorities score of a 520-mile (837 km) driving range, over 100 miles greater than its closest rival, Tesla (NASDAQ:)’s Model S, which is priced at $89,990. The increased range helped lead to a 23% leap in Lucid’s shares this month.
Speaking on the manufacturing website, Lucid Chief Executive Officer Peter Rawlinson, a former chief engineer on the Tesla Model S, mentioned his firm’s cars have a bonus in battery expertise and prices over the Model S.
“We’ve ridden customers of the fear of range anxiety,” he mentioned. “The next big obstacle is cost effectiveness of electric cars. We’ve got to get the cost down.”
He mentioned the Air Pure, the least costly model with a price ticket of $77,400, will go into manufacturing late subsequent 12 months.
The firm, based in 2007, obtained funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund in 2018 earlier than going public through a shell firm https://www.reuters.com/article/us-lucidmotors-m-a-churchill-cap-iv-excl/exclusive-lucid-motors-nears-spac-deal-as-klein-launches-financing-sources-idUSKBN2AG2D6 in July.
“(20)17 and (20)18 were brutal. The company was in a parlous state. And then I’ve got to say, we met a perfect partner,” he mentioned.
Rawlinson, who left Tesla in 2012, faces duties comparable to these of Tesla in its early days, together with how to handle manufacturing challenges and scale up manufacturing.
“I think the big challenge for Lucid will be execution,” mentioned Sam Abuelsamid, a principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights. “I think that they have a very good car. It’s very attractive.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk mentioned in June that Tesla has canceled its plan to launch a Model S Plaid+, with a goal driving range of 520 miles, saying the Model S Plaid itself is “just so good” https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/tesla-launch-high-end-model-s-plaid-fend-off-mercedes-porsche-2021-06-10.
Musk reiterated this month that “production is hard”.
“Production with positive cash flow is extremely hard,” he mentioned, citing carmakers’ razor-thin margins.
Tesla’s mixed gross sales of Model S and Model X luxurious fashions stood at only one,890 in the second quarter of this 12 months, down from 22,300 throughout the identical interval three years in the past. Tesla doesn’t escape figures for the 2 high-end fashions.
“The Model S doesn’t look fundamentally different from a Model S nine years ago,” Abuelsamid mentioned. “In the premium market, customers are looking for the latest and greatest.”
Musk in October 2020 lower the worth of its Model S, shortly after Lucid introduced the pricing of its base mannequin. “The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will be fulfilled,” he tweeted at the moment.
Electric car maker Rivian, backed by Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) and now getting ready for a public inventory itemizing, earlier this month began manufacturing of electric pickup vans. That transfer got here forward of comparable anticipated strikes by Tesla, General Motors Co (NYSE:) and Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co.