© Reuters. A Lucid Air electrical automobile is displayed at a shopping center in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S., September 27, 2021. REUTERS/Hyunjoo Jin
By Hyunjoo Jin
CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (Reuters) – Lucid Group Inc mentioned on Tuesday it would begin delivering its luxurious electrical sedans with a Tesla-beating driving vary in late October, in a significant problem to the market chief whose gross sales of premium fashions have stagnated.
The California-based startup started manufacturing of its long-delayed Lucid Air automobiles at its Arizona manufacturing unit on Tuesday. The corporate, based in 2007, obtained funding from Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund in 2018 earlier than going public by way of a shell firm in July.
Lucid Group’s CEO, Peter Rawlinson, who had overseen Tesla (NASDAQ:)’s Mannequin S improvement earlier than he left the corporate in 2012, faces duties much like these of Tesla in its early days, together with tips on how to handle manufacturing challenges and scale up manufacturing.
“I feel the massive problem for Lucid will likely be execution,” mentioned Sam Abuelsamid, a principal analyst at Guidehouse Insights. “I feel that they’ve an excellent automotive. It is very enticing,”
Lucid mentioned on Tuesday it has obtained greater than 13,000 reservations for Lucid Air fashions, whose value begins at $77,400. It additionally mentioned it has elevated the deliberate whole manufacturing of the top-end Lucid Air Dream Version to 520 automobiles. That automotive is priced at $169,000 and will likely be obtainable in late October, adopted by cheaper fashions: Grand Touring, Touring and Air Pure.
A model of the Dream Version has obtained an official authorities ranking of a 520-mile (837 km) vary, delivering greater than 100 miles of further vary over its closest rival, Tesla’s Mannequin S, which is priced at $89,990.
“The proprietary EV know-how that Lucid has developed will make it attainable to journey extra miles utilizing much less battery vitality,” mentioned Rawlinson.
Lucid has not but disclosed the battery capability of the top-end model of Lucid Air, but it surely mentioned its Lucid Air Grand Touring model has an official EPA ranking of 516 miles of vary with a 112-kWh battery pack, giving it an industry-leading effectivity of 4.6 miles per kilowatt-hour.
Musk mentioned in June that Tesla has canceled its plan to launch a Mannequin S Plaid+, with a goal driving vary of 520 miles, saying one other model is “so good.”
Tesla’s mixed gross sales of Mannequin S and Mannequin X luxurious fashions stood at only one,890 within the second quarter of this 12 months, down from 22,300 throughout the identical interval three years in the past. Tesla doesn’t get away figures for the 2 high-end fashions.
“The Mannequin S would not look basically totally different from a Mannequin S 9 years in the past,” Abuelsamid mentioned. “Within the premium market, clients are on the lookout for the newest and biggest.”
“What Lucid goes to probably have a bonus is the Air looks like a luxurious automotive, feels much more premium,” he mentioned.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk in October 2020 minimize the worth of its Mannequin S, shortly after Lucid introduced the pricing of its base mannequin. “The gauntlet has been thrown down! The prophecy will likely be fulfilled,” he tweeted at the moment.
Musk reiterated this month that “manufacturing is tough.”
“Manufacturing with constructive money movement is extraordinarily onerous,” he mentioned, citing carmakers’ razor-thin margins.
Electrical automobile maker Rivian, backed by Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) and now making ready for a public inventory itemizing, earlier this month began manufacturing of electrical pickup vehicles. That transfer got here forward of comparable anticipated strikes by Tesla, Basic Motors Co (NYSE:) and Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co, that are all making ready to launch electrical pickup vehicles.