Lucid Asking Ford For Acquisition In New Funding Round

Lucid Motors is looking for outside investors and may sell the company to Ford.

The California-based luxury electric car startup is looking for a new round of capital finance to get its Arizona plant ready for production. One of these talks has been centered on the possibility of an outright buyout by Ford Motor Co.

Sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Lucid set a meeting with Ford executives to discuss the possible sale.

New Ford CEO Jim Hackett is keeping his focus on a 100-day review of the company’s strategy. A possible Lucid acquisition is on hold for now.

Lucid has been working hard at raising interest in the Lucid Air battery electric sedan. A video this month showing the car hitting 235 miles an hour as raised some of that interest. The Air will start at $60,000 and goes into production starting in 2019 as a direct competitor with Tesla’s high-end luxury offerings.

In its previous incarnation, the company had made electric buses sold in China. That’s helped bring in more than $100 million in a recent funding round from Asian investors. The company is now working on the fourth funding round, called Series D. The electric carmaker is expected to need about $700 in investment by 2022 to keep its Arizona plant running.

“We don’t have the money in place. That’s why we need to secure Series D,” CTO Peter Rawlinson said in April. “It would be irresponsible to start moving earth or start anything until we have a financial runway to execute that professionally and with absolute integrity.”

Rawlinson told Bloomberg that Lucid is thrilled with the response coming from investors. He declined to comment on how extensive the fundraising will be for now, or on being in talks with Ford.

Ford declined to comment on it as well.

Hackett started Ford’s 100-day review in late May following the ouster of former CEO Mark Fields. Ford executives have been getting pressured by major shareholders to increase earnings.

The pressure will be on Hackett to keep capital expenditures realistic to the competitive landscape. Fields had been taking criticism from shareholders over potentially spending too much on autonomous technology and mobility services.

SEE ALSO:  Video: Lucid Motors Gets Its EV Up to 235 MPH

The Detroit automaker is not ruling out a possible Lucid investment down the road, sources said.

The executive shakeup at Ford so far hasn’t seemed to stop the company’s commitment to set a foothold in the new technologies. A plan had been set to spend $4.5 billon to electrify 40 percent of its vehicle offerings by 2020.

In February, Ford invested $1 billion in Argo AI, a self-driving car software startup.

Fields had committed to bringing automated vehicle mobility services to market by 2021. These Ford vehicles used in the share rides are expected to be electric.

Bloomberg

 

 


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