LOS ANGELES – After years of delays, Lucid Motors will lay the foundation for retail and production for the launch of its battery-electric Air sedan in the coming months, bringing the Californian startup’s goal of Tesla and Mercedes-Benz a big step closer to reality bring.
Last week, Lucid announced the end of pre-production at its new Arizona manufacturing facility and said it would move into “quality validation builds,” paving the way to begin production for commercial sale.
At the same time, Lucid opened its eighth proprietary showroom in New York’s Meatpacking District. Lucid markets the Air as a high-performance luxury sedan with a range of up to 500 miles and ultra-fast charging options.
“Opening a Lucid Studio in New York, one of the most vibrant cities in the world, enables us to show how Lucid Air and its breakthrough technology perfectly complement the fast pace and refined taste of the Big Apple,” said CEO Peter Rawlinson in a Press release.
Under New York law, the Lucid showroom is not allowed to sell vehicles; it will serve as an immersive experience in the luxury brand. Unlike Tesla, Lucid will market a variety of customizations to the Air, with multicolored interiors based on California colors and materials.
Lucid is bringing a virtual reality experience online to buyers across the country, but is also rolling out physical studios in major US and Canadian cities. Upcoming locations include Chicago, Boston, Vancouver, and the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Lucid expects 20 studio and service locations by the end of the year, the company announced.
The electric car startup is also developing a crossover called Gravity for the end of 2023. Lucid said last week that there are more than 10,000 reservations for the four versions of the Air coming this year and next. Reservations are not guaranteed sales but include a refundable deposit of $ 1,000.
Lucid has also pre-sold a limited edition of 500 vehicles of a high-end edition of the Air, the Dream Edition. The price was $ 169,000, excluding shipping or the $ 7,500 federal electric vehicle tax credit. The cheapest version of the nameplate called Air Pure starts at $ 77,400, with no shipping or federal tax credit.
Lucid is accelerating the schedule for its Casa Grande, Arizona facility near Phoenix. The automaker said last week it is pulling about $ 350 million in investment funds earmarked for later construction phases. As a result, Lucid is combining two upcoming phases into one, increasing production capacity for the Air and creating a dedicated assembly line for the Gravity.
The reinforced plan will be enhanced by the upcoming merger of Lucid with Churchill Capital Corp. IV, an earmarked acquisition company. This agreement, which will bring Lucid public, is expected to close in the third quarter, Lucid said.
Lucid reiterated its expectation that existing cash from the merger will fund planned operations through at least 2022. By then, it expects to generate significant cash from vehicle sales. Around 53,000 vehicles are to be produced annually by 2023.
“The company decides to accelerate the expansion of factory capacity and build a dedicated Lucid Gravity assembly line that is expected to result in higher Lucid Air sales volumes in 2023 while meeting the Lucid Gravity launch window in the second half of 2023,” said Rawlinson.
Churchill Capital Corp.’s shares rose in support of Lucid’s accelerated production plan. on the automaker’s news last week.