Lucid Motors has revealed its production-intent Lucid Air prototype, but the automaker is a long ways from getting actual cars in the hands of buyers.
The easy work is done, but what lies ahead are tasks that few automakers of late have succeeded at accomplishing.
From now through "early 2019" (that's when Lucid now says first deliveries will take place), the startup automaker will have to construct its $700 million factory Casa Grande, Arizona, south of Phoenix.
Construction is set to begin in the first quarter of 2017. Once the factory is complete, production will begin in late 2018.
Lucid flat out admits that this is an aggressive timeline Brian Barron, Lucid's director of global manufacturing, says he's confident that Lucid will deliver the first Air in early 2019, but he says the path to getting there will require non-stop work on Lucid's end. Barron says key to staying on track is the hiring and training of local talent well before the factory is complete.
There's another way Lucid intends to keep the Air on schedule. Automotive news describes it like this:
"To keep down the size, cost and construction time of the factory, Lucid will rent nearby warehouse space to build the Air's subassemblies, and truck them to the main site. Lucid is also exploring having a third party handle some assembly inside its plant. And 60 percent of the Air's parts have already been sourced from suppliers."
A contracted manufacturer has been ruled out though, as Lucid was unable to find one who could provide the volume the automaker anticipates.
"We feel the timing for us right now is spot on. We've got to get out there as quick as we can to establish our brand."
Speed is of the essence.
The product (Lucid Air) seems highly desirable and the public sentiment is that Lucid has a home run on its hands, but tough work lies ahead and the coming months will reveal is Lucid has what it takes to break into the automotive world.
Source: Automotive News