The US startup Faraday Future has again postponed the start of production of its luxury electric car FF 91. The start-up now hopes to raise funding of 325 million US dollars by the end of the year in order to be able to start production in 2022 after all. The situation is obviously very serious.
The most recently communicated schedule was for the first FF 91s to be delivered to customers in July. Due to the financial problems, the company now says it wants to start deliveries “in the third or fourth quarter of 2022” – but it still needs additional capital for this.
Earlier statements that the company did not need additional funds for the start of production were therefore not correct, or the development of prices for many components in recent months may also have rendered the calculations invalid.
As a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows (Faraday has been listed since July 2021 via SPAC merger), the financial situation is very serious. “The company needs additional cash to commercially launch the FF 91, and is currently seeking to raise additional capital to fund its operations through December 31, 2022,” the document says. So it is also about being able to continue operations at all. In an investor presentation, the company put its capital needs at $325 million through the end of the year, according to Bloomberg.
Faraday Future is not only about to start production of its first series model, but is also in the middle of a power struggle. In the course of the last major restructuring, when ex-BMW manager and Byton CEO Carsten Breitfeld took over as CEO, company founder Jia Yueting had taken a back seat. Now he is apparently trying to strengthen his influence again: a shareholder group linked to him had demanded the dismissal of a director of the company at the end of June. This apparently concerns Brian Krolicki, a former governor of the US state of Nevada, who in the meantime was chairman of the board of directors. Since Krolicki is alleged to have presented non-binding advance orders as binding orders and thus misled investors, the SEC is investigating. Krolicki resigned as chairman of the board but remained a member.
According to the company, the investor group even offered the director a contract of up to 700,000 dollars to resign. In mid-July, the investors had increased the pressure: They had offered an investment of “at least 100 million dollars” if the manager in question resigned. A few days later, the group accused the startup of not treating the offer “with the seriousness, urgency and fairness it deserves given its financial situation”.
Founded in 2014, Faraday Future’s initial plans were to build and deliver the FF 91 as early as 2018. Due to several problems with the vehicle and investors, delivery had to be postponed several times.
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