Tesla has been a beacon for electric vehicles for over a decade, dragging the entire automotive industry with it and accelerating the transition from combustion cars to EVs. However, traditional automakers are catching up, and there seem to be some internal challenges at Tesla that are slowing it down. The entire industry is taking notice.

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It's not all plain sailing for Lucid either

Even though Lucid makes the quickest and longest-range electric sedan in the world, it still has a long way to go before it can even think of rivaling Tesla for sales and technology prowess, and it recently announced it was cutting its staff by 6% in an attempt to reduce costs.

Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson thinks what's going on at Tesla is hurting the automaker. Rawlinson was recently a guest on the BBC’s Wake Up To Money, where he said that while he was at Tesla, it “was truly at the cutting edge developing the most advanced technology with a clarity of vision and purpose and an absolute singularity of mindset. What I’m seeing now is I’m seeing a worrying trend towards distraction. Tesla seems to be distracted.”


He worked for Tesla between 2009 and 2012 and was one of the minds that created the brand’s first mass-market vehicle, the Model S sedan. He went on to say that “there’s an interest in social media, even politics, and it’s kind of losing its way. I don’t see it having that singular sense of purpose, and I think it really falls to Lucid to take the technology to a whole new level now.”

Lucid currently makes quicker, longer-range EVs than Tesla, but it’s not as dedicated to semi-autonomous driving tech. It is gearing up to begin production of its second model, the Gravity three-row SUV, and after that, it will shift its focus to bringing out a more affordable midsize model to sit below the Air in the Lucid lineup.

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Just like Tesla, which laid off its entire Supercharger team, Lucid will also downsize its workforce in the US by 6%. This will total about 400 employees (out of a total of about 6,400), and it includes executives and managers in an attempt to lower costs and adapt to what seems to be a drop in EV demand. As the CEO of a smaller Tesla competitor struggling to get consumer attention, Rawlinson certainly has an incentive to criticize Musk.

But what Rawlinson said adds to recent statements made by a former Tesla board member, Steve Westly, who noted that Tesla boss Elon Musk appeared to have shifted his focus away from car manufacturing and that it was showing. Westly told CNBC that “for any CEO of any of the top companies in the world, you need to be laser-focused on what you’re doing. And it appears now that Mr. Musk’s focus is in too many areas.”

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