Scaled-Down Faraday Future Factory May Not Open Until 2019
Originally published on CleanTechnica.
We reported recently on the apparent — and not too surprising — implosion of Faraday Future’s plans to develop an enormous 3-million-square-foot electric vehicle manufacturing facility in Nevada.
At the time of that article, the company was reportedly instead going to be developing a much smaller 650,000-square-foot (60,390-square-meter) manufacturing plant that would open later this year.
New reports (from an unnamed source), though, are that even these down-scaled ambitions may not materialize until 2019. That is to say, the new manufacturing facility may not even open until 2019 — and when it does, it will “likely” be tooled to only produce <10,000 units a year.
Given that those figures come from an unnamed source who is reportedly “familiar with the company’s thinking,” it should probably be taken with a grain of salt. That said, it doesn’t sound unbelievable, does it?
Officially, the company is still claiming that the originally planned 3-million-square-foot plant will eventually get built, but it is no longer providing a timetable for this achievement. Notably, the company is still reportedly hiring contractors to begin building the new factory shell for the 650,000-square-foot “mini” plant.
Along with the comments from the unnamed sources discussed above, the Reuters coverage includes some interesting new data points gleaned from newly revealed documents.
Here’s more from that:
“Documents prepared for Chinese investors in early 2016 by Faraday’s finance team and not previously made public show the company was pitching a $1 billion convertible bond offering, saying it planned to build a range of seven electric vehicles, from an ultra-luxury flagship to a tiny commuter car.
“Now, the company has scaled back its initial product portfolio to just two models — the FF 91 flagship unveiled in early January and a slightly smaller, less expensive crossover designated FF 81 and aimed at the Tesla Model X, people familiar with the company’s plans told Reuters. …
“Jia planned to follow Faraday’s 2016 convertible bond offering in China with a Series A venture capital raise in late 2017, then shift to debt financing from US investors in 2018, according to one of the documents.
“The ultimate goal was an initial public offering in 2020, when Faraday expected to be building a million vehicles a year in the United States and China, and its projected market value would be about three times the current size of Tesla.”
That all sounds a bit ridiculous to me. Weren’t there any voices of reason working at the company? Were they simply told to shut up or leave if they disagreed with the direction being taken? Give the number of execs that have resigned from the company over the last year, I do have to wonder about that.
A final note: The unnamed sources quoted above also commented that most or all of Faraday Future’s vehicles would likely end up being manufactured at sister brand LeSee’s proposed manufacturing mega-facility in China’s Zhejiang province. Which would seemingly make a lot more sense for those involved than a huge, expensive facility in Nevada.
Reprinted with permission.