Faraday Future Is F*cked


When Faraday Future first burst on the scene, it was big on promises and ambition, laying the groundwork for a billion-dollar factory in Nevada and promising game-changing electric car technology.

Then came one of the biggest disappointments in modern car history with the reveal of the FFZERO1 concept, a low-slung piece of vaporware that is never, ever going to see the road. Even so, Farady kept up with bold promises of autonomous driving, smartphone capability, and long-range, zero-emissions driving even as reports of unpaid contractors and fleeing executives continue to pile up.

With CES 2017 just around the corner, Faraday is no doubt looking to regain some of its lost hype. But a new report from Jalopnik citing inside sources paints an ugly picture of a cash-starved company with no clear path forward. Amongst the most damning issues highlighted by Jalopnik:

  • Unpaid contractors halting work on Farady’s $1 billion Nevada factory
  • A lawsuit involving $10 million in unpaid bills relating FF’s car design (that lawsuit has since been dropped without reasoning)
  • Money from principal investor Jia Yueting has reportedly ceased coming
  • FF was added as a loan guarantor on Jia’s other EV project, LeEco
  • Six high-ranking executives left the company in the fall, including the Head of Product Strategy, Head of PR, and the Finance Director
  • And the real kicker: FF may have debt as much as $200 million, rather than having $100 million of cash on hand as it thought

Any one of these issues on their own would be cause for concern for any fans or potential investors. Put all together, however, Faraday Future is looking more and more like an inevitable failure waiting to happen. The would-be electric automaker had ambitions to begin production on its still-unrevealed crossover as soon as 2018, but it will be hard to build a car without a factory or parts suppliers or top executives.

Everybody wants to be the next Tesla Motors right now, but companies like Faraday Future and Lucid Motors are trying to skip the hard stuff where Tesla struggled to be taken seriously, and get right into the high-end luxury EV market that the Model S has cornered for itself.

But there’s a lack of organic growth that let Musk and co. work through the unique growing pains that come with designing and selling electric vehicles. It can be easy to forget that Tesla came close to being sold off to Google, or the teething issues that the first Model S sedans went through, or how Top Gear put Tesla on blast in front of gearheads worldwide.

All these setbacks have helped forge a better, tougher Tesla Motors, and you can’t just throw a billion dollars at the problem and expect to beat the one guy who has started a successful automaker in the last century.

Faraday Future is not long for this world unless it delivers the most compelling vehicle of the year at CES. And even that might not be enough for a company that has shown no production concept some 18 months after first announcing that it was “not fucking around.”

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Rick Danger

    Yueting is not too full of himself… like one automotive startup isn’t tough enough? Tesla started with a factory they got for pennies on the dollar; FF and LeEco both get brand new billion dollar factories??? Riiiiight.
    No way in Hell FF & LeEco both survive and prosper. Less than even odds that either do. Right now, looks like FF is sitting in the catbird’s seat.
    I think this was a Trump-like move; Do much of LeEco’s design through FF, then FF screws everyone and closes down, and LeEco saves millions of R&D money.
    And I think to myself… what a rotten, despicable world.

    • Kieran Delaney

      If that really was their gameplan, then Yueting deserves to go to hell.

      Either way, the company is looking completely f**ked, and it saddens me for the employees and those who had hope in this company.

    • James Rowland

      That’s a disturbing (and perhaps uncharitable) interpretation of Yueting’s intent, but it does seem plausible.

      If true, he certainly wouldn’t be the first to profit from the plundering games possible through bankrupcy laws and get away with it.

    • James Rowland

      It seems you’re on to something.

      According to The Verge, some former employees have claimed FF’s intellectual property is held by another company registered in the Cayman Islands. I can’t imagine why they’d do that if not to hedge bankruptcy.

      • Rick Danger

        Good find, James, thanks for the info.

  • Natural Order

    I prefer to wait, and see. I hope FF will deliver a car that rival Tesla. No doubt, there is problems now, but transcending those problems is really the true test of character for the founder, and of course, some cosmic luck.

  • ToMarsAndBeyond

    Simple calculation: It will take at least 2 billion each Jia Yueting investments Faraday Future, LeEco or Lucid Motors to survive. I just can’t see that happening. Jia Yueting should thus raise 6 billion for all three to survive. Can’t be done. So at least 2 companies will have to be dropped. The remaining one should get at least 2 billion. Good luck with raising that much investment money. Lucid has three other shareholders, so that might go. Raise cash by a Faraday Future IPO?

  • Kevin Wong

    After reading a number of Jalopnik articles over, it sounds like Jia found success in establishing the “Netflix of China” and wanted to impede on Tesla. He has a boat-load of money and thought he could pull it off, but as Musk and other come-latelies are discovering that starting an auto company is very expensive. A typical tech startup can be self or peer-funded and the overhead costs are low because there’s little raw material cost (computers). Cars are heavily regulated, complex, and the consumer is fickle. It seems to me that Jia thought this was going to be easy and is learning the hard way that this is a completely different animal.

    I’d also like to note that it seems like Jia is not really innovating anything here, rather he is trying to do what Musk as already done (yet not profitable).

  • Nomadas

    This is what happens when you dont give money to ¨writers¨ to speak nice things about your company.

    • Ha. More like, I’ve seen and written the same story so many times over the past decade that I’m at the point I’m just gonna call it as I see it.

      For the record though, nobody has ever paid us to say nice things about their company. That’s why we’re all broke.

      • Nomadas

        than your last decade is all BS, how can some one talk about numbers like 200M! referring as ¨may have debt¨ I know very well the automotive industry, this is what I have done all my life and I can tell you that all those numbers are incorrect, I know because I have seen projects from Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota etc. build complete plants for as low as 300M. I dont know where are you taking your fake info, but I can tell you something that you can actually investigate and get a real info, ask any decent automotive supplier if they are willing to have a customer debt of 10M for 1 year?, if you find 1 now try to find 20, all this companies dont work on pennies or good will, I can ensure you that if you are a decent industrial contractor you dont put a feet on the field without at least 30 to 40% of all project value up front, the world of automotive industry is not as easy or black and white as you want to make it look like, is a real battle of wolfs and every one is looking for their cut, if you guys think you can get some, well….. good luck.

        • Steve Hanley

          You may have a point but I don’t know what it is since your comment is incomprehensible. You may know lots about the automotive industry, but you know nothing about writing clear, declarative sentences. Best to leave that to real writers!

          • Nomadas

            Yeah sorry about that, is really difficult to express the idea when you are thinking and speaking in 3 or 4 different languages, but in my personal opinion it does not matter the language, when you start a sentence with something like ‘F*cked’ you might not deserve to be call a writer.
            I really appreciate and I am really grateful of the US automotive industry and is incredible for me how fast all the real US made cars disappear from the roads, every day I drive around is only BMW, Benz, kia, nissan or any other piece of crap made in who knows where.
            And is not only about FF this is a real opportunity for US to have all the big players at home again, and crap like this is the reason why the guys with the billions look for some other places to produce, I realize this a couple of months ago, when I saw parts of Tesla cars that where US produce before being build in other country’s, and right now it might not be important to produce staring wheels, seats, rims, stamping or battery’s out of US but just wait for a couple of years and you will see what will happen to Tesla production, I think the only thing FF is asking, is for a chance to start a business in the right place, the moment and the collateral’s are difficult enough, and on top of that deal with this crap, well…., you can not blame the Chinese and global investors to have second thoughts about their decision after attitudes like this.

          • Nobody with a billion dollars to invest in a car company cares what some bloggers think.

            Our job is to pierce through the bullshit and use our experience to separate the real contenders from the wannabes.

            I’ve covered the rise and fall of companies like Fisker, Project Better Place, and Th!nk, all of which were worth hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars before going bankrupt.

            I’m not going to sit here and be dazzled into fawning over every would-be luxury EV automaker anymore. Faraday Future has had 18 months (!!) to show a production-intent concept car, but they haven’t shown us anything but an inability to retain top talent and not pay their bills.

            You want to blindly cheer for every EV automaker? That’s fine. But that’s not what this blog is about.

          • Nomadas

            That is your personal opinion and hope that works for you, good luck with that.