The US electric car manufacturer Lucid Motors has now confirmed for the first time that it is planning a factory in Saudi Arabia. This is to be built by 2025 or 2026. Details are currently being negotiated with ministries in the kingdom.
“Now that we are successfully producing and selling cars in the U.S., our attention is turning to this factory here,” Lucid chairman Andrew Liveris told Bloomberg Television. Among the issues still under negotiation, according to the statement, is the exact ownership structure between Lucid and the Saudi Arabian partners involved.
This is the first time that a company representative has confirmed rumours about a Lucid factory in Saudi Arabia that have been circulating for some time. A year ago, Bloomberg had also reported on a concrete location in the port city of Jeddah on the Red Sea. At the time, it was also said that the plans were far advanced, but that there could still be changes – the planned city of Neom was probably also in the running as an alternative to Jeddah.
Bloomberg mentions the two cities as possible locations, with the King Abdullah Economic City in Jeddah probably being the favourite. Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF, which has held a stake in Lucid Motors since 2018, would accordingly “provide much of the money for the location in King Abdullah Economic City”, according to a person familiar with the proceedings. Liveris did not comment on a possible location.
However, in the interview, the Lucid supervisory board chairman confirmed that the company is affected by missing components in its Arizona production. “Yes, we’re experiencing supply chain issues,” Liveris is quoted as saying. Between the start of deliveries at the end of October and the end of the year, Lucid had planned to deliver 577 examples of the Air, 520 of them in the ‘Dream Edition‘ and 57 as the ‘Grand Touring’ – the latter being the electric sedan’s range-topping option, however final delivery statistics are still outstanding.
Shortly after the start of production of the Air at the main plant in Casa Grande, Lucid began the announced expansion there. With the expansion, the production capacity of currently up to 34,000 electric cars per year is to grow to 90,000 vehicles per year by the end of 2023. This includes additional space for the production of the e-sedan Lucid Air as well as capacities for the second model of the manufacturer, the electric SUV developed under the name “Project Gravity”.
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