Although most people think the Air competes with the Tesla Model S, Lucid already said that is not the case. Its sedan’s real competitors would be the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7-Series, implying it has to present a solid build quality and a paint job that is one of the best in the world. The video above shows the company’s efforts in accomplishing this task.
Showing how the paint shop works is only part of what the video offers. We also get to know the people in charge for things to go right. Mike Boike is the director of manufacturing at AMP-1. He’s the guy in charge of building Lucid’s factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, and of expanding it to its final stage.
Lucid also introduced us to Bobo Odunaiya, the senior manager of manufacturing, and Leslie Williams, the senior manager of the paint shop. All three of them put the paint shop as the heart of the factory. It is expandable to deal with all 400,000 vehicles Lucid plans to build there. Currently, AMP-1 can produce 30,000 cars, and the Project Gravity expansion phase is planned to begin in 2021.
After each Lucid Air body-in-white leaves the body shop, it goes straight away to “Pretreatment and Electrocoat.” That’s where the paint shop starts its work by cleaning the Air’s body and making sure it will not rust thanks to electrodeposition coating.
The second phase is “Sealer,” where all openings in the car body panels are covered to avoid wind noise or water invading them. It is a failure in this process that led so many Teslas to present water leaks. Hopefully, Lucid will take extra care here.
When the car body is properly cleaned, protected, sealed, and sanded, it goes through “Paint.” It is at this stage that the car gets all layers of primer, base coat, and clear coat. Lucid did not clarify its secret sauce here: it just says that it has “integrated the latest innovative process and materials technologies that result in a flawless, luxurious finish.”
The paint shop's final stage has a great name: “Finesse.” After the paint is properly cured, a team of highly qualified technicians inspects the body and spots flaws regular customers would never see.
After getting to know Boike, Odunaiya, and Williams, we want to know when they will start working on delivering these cars to customers. After releasing this video, Lucid’s message seems to be that it will be soon.