Faraday Future Downsizing Deliveries At New California Plant

Faraday Future is scaling down production plans quite a bit from 150,000 luxury electric cars a year to 10,000 at a new California assembly plant.

The startup won a $13.75 million loan to set up a new factory in Hanford, Calif., located near Fresno in central California. It’s needed to start production of the FF 91 electric sedan as the company leaves behind its previous plan to build a $5 billion assembly plant near Las Vegas.

Innovatus Capital Partners, a two-year old investment firm, agreed to the one-year loan. The company’s Gardena, Calif.-headquarters office was named part of the collateral backing the loan.

Faraday Future’s survival has been in question since late 2016 when major investor, LeEco chief Jia Yeuting, hit the wall financially that included a Chinese government ruling to freeze company assets. That put the North Las Vegas factory on hold, eventually ending the deal with the state of Nevada.

The new factory site had been shuttered for years in the small town of Hanford, with its population of 55,000. It had been held by two tire companies, Armstrong Rubber Co. in the 1960s through early 1980s and Italian tire company Pirelli from 1982 to 2001.

A medical marijuana supplier had asked for permission to use the space, but the request spurred debate over the ethical issues behind its product. The supplier eventually walked away right before Faraday grabbed the opportunity.

About 400 of the company’s 1,000 employees from the corporate office took a road trip over the weekend from the Los Angeles area to the new plant. They’d volunteered to “see it, touch it, work on it, paint an FF sign on it,” said Stefan Krause, the company’s chief operating officer.

Krause, who joined the team in March, is tapping into his background as a former employee at Deutsche Bank and BMW, to raise more capital.

The near-$14 million deal was a start, but hundreds of million more will need to be secured to get the FF 91 deliveries to the first owners. The goal is to roll off the the first electric sedan by the end of next year.

The former tire plant with a 300-yard long section will be right for manufacturing cars, he said. Now the company can show investors an assembly plant and a production schedule.

“For investors, it makes it more real,” he said.

SEE ALSO: Faraday Future Developing FF 91 for Pikes Peak – Video

Keeping on schedule will be needed to hit his target of being the second luxury electric carmaker after Tesla. Other startups competing for that title include Lucid Motors, Lynk & Co, Fisker, Inc., and Karma Automotive.

The game is changing fast for Tesla, with luxury EVs like the Model S and Model X paling in volume compared to production plans for the new Model 3 and the upcoming Model Y. Tesla seems to be looking more at luxury and mainstream brands like BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, Nissan, and Chevrolet as real direct competitors.

Los Angeles Times

More Hybrid News...