California-Based Lucid Motors Setting Up Electric Car Assembly Plant in Arizona

California-based electric car startup Lucid Motors will be manufacturing cars in Arizona to lower costs, according to the LA Times.

While the company had been proud of its home state of California during the Los Angeles Auto Show earlier this month, Lucid announced Monday it will be building cars in Casa Grande, Arizona.

“We’re a California car company and it’s a fresh California spirit,” said Peter Rawlinson, chief technology officer at Lucid Motors, as he showed off a new luxury electric car at the LA Auto Show that the company says will be able to produce 1,000 units of horsepower.

The company didn’t give reasons for California losing out on the assembly plant. It may have had to do with lower taxes and lighter regulations than California, a state known for losing opportunities with companies such as Nissan and Toyota moving headquarters to other states.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey sad that his state’s “commitment to low taxes and light regulations make us the best place in the nation to start and scale a new business.”

Casa Grande is a desert town with a population of 50,000 residents. It’s located about 50 miles southeast of Phoenix.

Lucid Motors did its homework in choosing the plant site.

“The site we’ve located has been carefully selected, having scoured the U.S. extensively,” Rawlinson said this week.

Lucid comes from struggling all-electric carmaker Atieva, which renamed itself Lucid Motors last month. Based in Menlo Park in California’s Silicon Valley, had been salvaged by investment from Chinese investors, including LeEco head Jia Yeuting, who also is backing Faraday Future.

Both LeEco and Faraday Future are going through a cost cutting, restructuring process. Faraday has stopped paying millions of dollars in bills due and work has ceased at its barren factory site in North Las Vegas, according to the LA Times.

Asked about Faraday and its problems, Rawlinson told the LA Times: “That’s a completely different company.”

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The company didn’t provide any reasons for its name change last month, but Lucid does suggest a strong emphasis on AI (artificial intelligence) and other high-tech features previewed yesterday at a “soft launch” at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters.

Here’s a teaser photo of the upcoming electric car that the company released prior to the soft launch:

Lucid Motors concept car

Lucid plans to compete with German brands and Tesla Motors in the luxury electric car space. The company showed off two “alpha” versions of the car at the Arizona event on Monday, wrapped in black-and-white camouflage.

When it hits full production, the company said it expects to turn out 50,000 to 60,000 cars a year. Lucid intends to invest $700 million in the Arizona assembly plant and will hire about 2,000 workers by 2022. Initial hiring and plant startup is scheduled for next year, with cars starting to roll out to customers in 2018.

The company said it planned to import car parts from Mexican factories near the border.

LA Times