Electric vehicle upstart Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:LCID) could be setting its sights on the highly-competitive Chinese market even as it struggles to navigate through the early phases of commercialization in the U.S.
Lucid hired auto industry veteran Zhu Jiang recently to head its operations in China, CnEVPost reported, citing local media outlet Jiemian.
He served Nio as its VP of user development, and at Ford China, he was the chief operating officer of the EV business unit. His role at Jidu since his joining in November 2021 was head of user development and operations.
Lucid said on May 31 that it was raising about $3 billion through a new stock offering, most of which came from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), which controls it.
The financing is aimed at allowing Lucid to accelerate bringing state-of-the-art EV technology and product experiences to users across the industry and around the world, and China is looking forward to it, Zhu said recently, according to Jiemian.
Why It’s Important: Newark, California-based Lucid hinted in 2021 that it could enter China by 2023. CEO Peter Rawlinson said in a CNBC interview then that the company plans to build a factory in China by the middle of the decade.
Lucid’s website listed 14 jobs based out of Shanghai in December 2022, the CnEVPost report said.
The U.S. EV startup has been having trouble ramping up production of its premium EVs. In May, the company lowered its production forecast for 2023 from 10,000-14,000 units to more than 10,000 units.
Recently, the company announced a common stock offering and a private placement with its Saudi promoters that could fetch the company proceeds of about $3 billion.
The Chinese market may not be a cakewalk for foreign players. Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) despite its global EV leadership and a local manufacturing footprint, is finding it tough to compete against nimble domestic upstarts, led by BYD Company Ltd. (OTC:BYDDY) (OTC:BYDDF) and Li Auto, Inc. (NASDAQ:LI).
Lucid closed Thursday’s session down 1.88% at $6.28, according to NASDAQ’s market activity records.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Jessi Rexroad Shull and Alberto Arellano