Lucid late in September opened its second vehicle plant. The plant, which was first announced in early 2022, is located near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and builds Lucid electric vehicles both for Saudi Arabia and export.
The plant is being used initially to build semi knocked-down (partially assembled) examples of the Lucid Air sedan at a rate of 5,000 units per year, but there are plans to expand the site later this decade to handle complete production of Lucid vehicles at a rate of 150,000 units annually.
Lucid’s first plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, which also builds the Air sedan, is expected to have an annual capacity of 365,000 units when fully expanded.
Lucid’s main shareholder is Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund (PIF). Part of an investment deal by the PIF included a promise to purchase 100,000 vehicles over a 10-year period from Lucid.
The country is investing in several new industries to reduce its dependence on oil, and last year also announced its own EV brand. Known as Ceer, the new brand plans to launch its first model in 2025.
Lucid isn’t the first automaker linked with Saudi Arabia on car manufacturing. In 2012, Jaguar Land Rover conducted a feasibility study for possible production in the country but didn’t proceed further.
“We are delighted to make history today in Saudi Arabia by opening the country’s first car manufacturing facility, which will produce our award-winning electric vehicles and support the country’s vision for a more sustainable and diversified economy,” Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s CEO, said in a statement.
The news comes as Lucid cuts prices on the Air in an effort to boost sales. In a recent earnings announcement, Lucid said it delivered only 1,404 units in the second quarter and expects 2023’s production tally to reach just 10,000 units. The company should receive a boost with the launch of its second model, the Gravity SUV, which debuts in November and is scheduled to start production in late 2024.
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