Lucid Motors announced on November 30 that it will construct a $700 million factory on 500 acres of land in Casa Grande, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix. Lucid says the factory will be ready to start building automobiles in 2018 and will employ 2,000 workers. The first Lucid product will be a sedan intended to compete with the best large sedans from Mercedes, BMW, and Audi. The company says it is not specifically targeting the Tesla Model S or Faraday Future.
“It took a serious partnership of the state, county of Pinal and city of Casa Grande to bring this deal together,” said Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in an exclusive interview with the Phoenix Business Journal. “We made an extra effort to bring another major manufacturing facility to Arizona.”
The company considered 60 markets in 13 states before selecting Casa Grande. Company officials were reluctant to name the other finalists but a report in the Sacramento Business Journal said California’s capitol city was the runner-up for the Lucid factory. The company has declined to confirm or deny that report. Key factors that tipped the balance in favor of Casa Grande included the availability of a 500 acre, shovel ready site with heavy rail access, the skill level of the workers available in the immediate aria, and Arizona’s quality of life. In addition to rail access, Casa Grande also is located close to several interstate highways.
“While all the markets wanted an automotive OEM facility, Arizona was the state that made us feel as if it were a partner in the process,” said Brian Barron, director of manufacturing for Lucid Motors, formerly called Atieva. “We were impressed that Gov. Ducey made a trip to California to meet our team and was so accessible when we were in Arizona. This was one of the key deciding factors in choosing Casa Grande.” Ducey essentially closed the deal for Arizona, according to Lucid Motors.
Eric Jay Toll of the Phoenix Business Journal was on hand for the announcement and reports that the “alpha prototype” seen in the photos that accompany this story is not the final design for Lucid’s first car. The actual production prototype is scheduled to be unveiled at Lucid headquarters in Menlo Park, California December 14. The final price has not been set but will be more than $100,000. Lucid marketing managerDavid Salguero says the interior of the car will be larger than the Mercedes S Class sedan.
Photo credits: Eric Jay Toll, Phoenix Business Journal. Used with permission.