Lucid Increases E.V. Production but Still Faces Challenges

Source: By Jack Ewing, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2022

The maker of electric sedans said it would hit its scaled-back production targets for 2022 after facing supply hurdles.

Lucid’s plant in Casa Grande, Ariz. The company scaled back its production targets for this year.
Caitlin O’Hara/Reuters

Lucid, an electric-vehicle maker that has struggled to ramp up manufacturing, said Wednesday that it would meet its scaled-back production targets for the year after producing 2,300 cars in the third quarter.

The company, based in Newark, Calif., said last year that it aimed to produce 20,000 cars in 2022, but repeatedly reducedthat figure after running into problems securing critical components. In August, Lucid said it would produce 6,000 to 7,000 of its battery-powered sedans this year, a goal that the company now expects to meet.

“Lucid believes it is on track to deliver on its previously provided 6,000 to 7,000 vehicle production guidance for full year 2022,” the company said in a statement. Lucid said it delivered 1,400 vehicles to customers during the quarter, about twice as many as in the previous quarter.

Electric-vehicle start-ups like Lucid and Rivian were expected to challenge the dominance of the traditional car companies with stylish, high-performance products, but have had problems making enough vehicles to gain significant market share.

Rivian, which makes electric pickup trucks, said last week that it was recalling almost all of the vehicles it has produced so far because a small number have an improperly tightened fastener that could cause the steering to malfunction.

The window for fledgling automakers is closing as Ford Motor, Hyundai, Volkswagen, General Motors and other established carmakers introduce electric vehicles that have been popular with buyers. Those companies can draw on decades of manufacturing experience and established networks of factories and suppliers.

Investors have soured on the fledgling carmakers, making it harder for them to raise cash by selling shares. Rising interest rates will make it more expensive for them to borrow money or issue debt. Lucid shares closed at $13.09 on Wednesday, up 3.5 percent on the day but down from a peak of $55 last year.

While the production figures are good news for Lucid, the company “is still nowhere near producing at a scale” that will generate enough revenue to cover its costs, Garrett Nelson, vice president at CFRA Research, said in a note.