California’s electric car startup Faraday Future plans to build a plant in China with an initial annual production capacity of over 100,000 vehicles. Industry insiders say that Faraday Future is negotiating with Geely about contract manufacturing.
News agency Reuters first broke the move to China, citing three people familiar with the matter. According to the report, the Los Angeles-based company indicated to potential investors this month, that the plant would be built in a “Tier 1 city in China”. In the initial phase, the plant should produce more than 100,000 vehicles per year, which would suggest that an expansion of production capacity is planned. FF is also considering setting up a research centre in there.
According to two of the sources, Faraday Future was in talks with Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. In this way, Geely would be able to not only build the FF 91 as a contract manufacturer but also “Geely will help FF with improving the model’s engineering design and offer intelligent auto technologies like autonomous driving.”
Both Faraday Future and Geely declined when asked to comment by Reuters. The sources said that negotiations were not yet complete and could therefore still change.
This means, of course, that it is open as to whether Faraday Future wants to go both ways – with its own plant and contract manufacturing – in parallel or is working out both plans as alternatives. Originally, the FF 91 e-SUV that was presented in 2017, was to be built in series as early as 2019 in the company’s own plant in California. That same year, there were acute financial problems, and a little while later Faraday Future wanted to back out of a deal with major shareholder Evergrande.
In the meantime, however, the financing failed, and the controversial founder and CEO Jia Yueting resigned. Today, the company is led by former BMW-i developer and ex-Byton boss Carsten Breitfeld. Earlier this month, Faraday Future said it was still raising money for mass production of the FF 91 and that production should start in about a year once the funding target is met.
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