Electric vehicle startup Faraday Future faces a new exam

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Despite all of Faraday’s past ambitions, Breitfeld understands that there is only one thing that matters at this point.

“I’m holding back all these advanced things,” he said, “and focusing the whole company right now on product release. It’s a challenge. It can be done.”

Faraday Future, which counts Chinese automaker Geely as an investor, ranked 11th out of 20 electric vehicle startups analyzed by consulting firm Guidehouse Insights in a July 2020 report. from partners to geographic coverage to market strategy.

Finding success in that crowded field will require Faraday Future to walk a tightrope: rebuild a staff decimated by departures and layoffs, build a brand from scratch, and ensure the facility becomes a functioning factory within the next seven months.

In September, the company added a new round of senior executives, including the vice president of manufacturing Matt Tall, who came to Faraday from Rivian, as well as others that have come from upstart EVs such as Lordstown Motors and Karma Automotive.

“You need a company where you have the right technology and product ideas, and it’s all for granted here,” Breitfeld said. “The market and the product were here. What wasn’t there was a team that really worked.”

Last week, the ranks of leaders rattled again. Faraday announced that CFO Zvi Glasman, who arrived just 10 months ago, has stepped down. What replaced by Chuck McBride, a veteran of a public company who has worked in multiple industries.

Faraday says it has 300 employees. About a third signed up from the company’s July public offering. At its peak, Faraday had approximately 1,500 employees.

The J Capital report said the staff were “far below” the necessary levels and that the automaker would need a minimum of 1,200 engineers to produce the FF 91 and the more mass-produced FF 81 sedan, scheduled for early 2023. Perhaps a solution is on the way: This week, Faraday will hold a job fair in Hanford to get started. to hire factory employees.

Will customers want the vehicles these workers apparently are? going to build? The J Capital report said “there isn’t much demand for the car” and suggested that the market in the US and China for $ 180,000 electric vehicles – Faraday’s target price – is scarce.

It would be the high-end of luxury electric vehicles. For comparison, the Lucid Air costs $ 77,400 to start and goes up to $ 169,000 with its Dream Edition range, which gets more than 500 miles of range per charge. A Tesla Model S starts at $ 91,000 and its long-range trim costs $ 131,190.

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