Faraday Future’s big unveiling of its first production-intent vehicle at CES last month was tainted by several lawsuits and financial issues leading up to it. It got so bad that there were strong doubts about the company even being able to bring the car to production.
It now looks like FF is still aiming to bring it to production, but we learn that it is downsizing what was previously supposed to be a massive $1 billion electric vehicle factory to manufacture the vehicle in North Las Vegas.
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Last year, Faraday Future announced plans to build a 3 million square feet state-of-art factory on a 703 acres parcel of land in Nevada.
The state gave the startup an incentive package worth $215 million in tax credits and abatements, and $120 million in infrastructure improvements at the industrial park where the project is underway.
The company hired AECOM to manage the construction of the project and as of the third quarter last year, they spent $6 million on it.
In a statement this week, the company claims that they still plan to build the factory based on the original plan, but they will have to do it in phases.
A North Las Vegas city manager told Reuters that Faraday will build a much smaller auto assembly facility than originally planned:
North Las Vegas city manager Qiong Liu said Faraday told the city it will build a 650,000-square-foot (60,390-square-meter) facility, beginning later this year, on the site of a plant originally planned to take up 3 million square feet.
The new planned facility is expected to bring down the annual production rate from 100,000 to 10,000 and could only be ready by 2019.
It would make more sense considering its first vehicle, the FF91, is expected to cost around $200,000 in the US and therefore, it would be surprising if the company plans to make more than 10,000 per year.
They hired Dag Reckhorn, Director of Model S Manufacturing at Tesla, and Andrew De Haan, Tesla’s Director of Global Supplier Industrialization, to lead manufacturing at the plant.
Amid this setback in the US with Faraday Future, LeEco, the Chinese company backing FF financially, broke ground at another $3 billion electric car factory – but in China.