Reports of the demise of Faraday Future are premature, apparently. Word out of California is that the company has secured an emergency $14 million loan from some Wall Street investors. The company has pledged its Los Angeles headquarters as collateral for the loan.
Among other things, the money will be used to help pay the lease on a former Pirelli factory located about 200 miles north of LA. Faraday Future plans to begin moving in and making the factory ready for production again beginning early in 2018 according to company sources. PIrelli stopped operations there in 2001.
The 1 million square foot space is about the same size as the all new manufacturing facility Faraday Future planned to build in the North Las Vegas before the financial roof fell in on principal shareholder Jia Yueting. A court in China recently froze $182 million in assets belonging to him.
Local officials are delighted with the news. They should be. If things actually turn out as planned, Faraday Future will employ up to 1,300 workers at the site that now sites mostly idle.
Faraday Future has been mostly hype since it first brought its outrageously ridiculous FFZero1 concept car to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2016. That car was a single seat slingshot designed to impress people with how cool the company was, but it offered no hint as to what the company actually planned to manufacture. It fact, it didn’t even run.
This year, the company brought a prototype of an electric five door SUV — called the FF 91 — that might actually appeal to some buyers. Squint and it could be mistaken for the new Jaguar I-Pace electric SUV that is supposed to go on sale next year.
Faraday Future is also involved in Formula E racing, the international series for electric open wheel cars. It claims its cars, if they ever get built will have cutting edge autonomous technology. The problem with that is, every other company on the face of the planet is promising the same thing. Promises are one thing. Delivering actual products requires something Faraday Future has very little of — money.
$14 million may seem like a lot of cash to most folks, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to sums that will be needed to bring this company back from the brink of disaster. If you are one of the people who have reserved a Faraday Future FF 91 of your own, patience — and lots of it — will be required before you ever get to drive your new car.
Source: The Verge