When Faraday Future first set up its electric vehicle development effort in 2014 and ramped it up in 2015 and 2016, it was a strain on Tesla’s team since it poached literally dozens of engineers from the electric automaker.
Now it’s going the other way around as dozens of Faraday Future employees have been jumping ship as things are becoming gloomy at the company.
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In just over two years, Faraday Future grew to over 1,000 employees as it was bankrolled by Jia Yueting, the billionaire founder of LeEco, which is known as the Netflix of China.
Things took a turn for the worse as cash became scarcer.
FF has been hit by several lawsuits and financial issues over the past few months and some were ready to call it ‘game over’ before the unveiling of their new FF91 concept at CES in January.
Now that they have unveiled their first production-intent vehicle, it’s about bringing it to production at their factory in Nevada, but construction hasn’t been progressing much.
It looks like those financial issues are at the center of the slow progress in North Las Vegas. As we recently reported, the company also recently hired former BMW/Deutsche Bank CFO Stefan Krause to straighten up its finances. There has been speculation that government restrictions on moving money outside of China might be an issue in this case.
Jia’s main company, LeEco, is reportedly looking to sell its campus in Silicon Valley, which could free up some cash in the US to finance FF. It could sell for as much as $260 million.
But it looks like it could not be enough as the company laid off most of its US staff this week and Jia even stepped down as CEO.
While Jia and LeEco are the main backers of Faraday Future, they are separate companies and they could raise money on their own. Yet, it doesn’t look good and Electrek has learned of dozens of employees jumping ship in the past few weeks.
Tesla snapped up a few engineers in the process, like Robert Taylor, a studio engineer, and Yong Dian Jian, a computer vision engineer on FF’s self-driving car team and who is now a staff computer vision scientist on the Tesla Vision team as of last week.
They are only two examples of several key employees leaving Faraday Future over the last month, including their director of vehicle purchasing, technical lead for self-driving sensors, senior engineering manager for chassis, technical program manager for digital products, director of electrical engineering and software, and more.
Sinking ship or another hiccup in Faraday Future’s road to production? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.