Saturday, December 9, 2023

Lucid is exploring China entry; confirms mass market EV models ahead

TechnologyLucid is exploring China entry; confirms mass market EV models ahead

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The Lucid Air Midnight Dream Edition.

Lucid

MUNICH — Lucid is exploring selling its cars in China but has no timeline for when it will enter the world’s largest electric car market, a top executive told CNBC.

The comments come after Lucid hired Zhu Jiang, a former executive at Chinese electric car start-up Nio.

“Every car manufacturer has to look very deeply or has already looked into China. It’s the world’s largest car market. It’s going to be likely the world’s largest and fastest adopting EV market as we can see,” Eric Bach, chief engineer at Lucid, told CNBC in an interview on Tuesday at the IAA auto show in Munich, Germany.

“It’s something we are exploring, we are investing in.”

If you enter China on the wrong terms, you can make a lot of mistakes.

Eric Bach

chief engineer at Lucid

Bach said the company has quadrupled the factory space at its factory in Arizona. It is also in the process of launching an SUV called Gravity. Therefore, Bach said, there’s “stress on the system” so Lucid will need to see how much it can take on right now.

Exploring China’s EV space

If Lucid does expand into China, the U.S. firm will be entering one of the most competitive EV markets in the world. Lucid will come up against China’s slew of domestic players from BYD to Nio as well as U.S. giant Tesla.

“We haven’t cited a market entry date yet because we just need to get it right,” he added. “If you enter China on the wrong terms, you can make a lot of mistakes,” he added.

Bach said there is a team on the ground in China exploring the viability of entering the market.

“We need to hone in, how are we going to enter? What’s the pricing strategy? What’s going to be our manufacturing strategy?” ” Bach said.

“So we’re looking at the whole gamut of what we should be doing as a young manufacturer, and we’ll get it right.”

Lucid mass-market car ahead

The electric vehicle boom is real — but the road won't be easy

But the company is now looking at expanding its products into lower price categories.

Bach confirmed that a mid-sized car could be unveiled in 2026. He added that the company would eventually push into the mass-market segment, where cars are priced around $20,000.

But that’s going to take some time, Bach acknowledged.

“To build that economies of scale and the ability to achieve those price points, you need to have a very strong and capable supply base that gives you the right pricing,” the chief engineer said.

“So that’s where we’re starting top down so that we can build that trust, earn it, build networks, build our logistic systems — and then also get from the mid-size vehicle this scale and the revenue ultimately, to finance the investment in a mass market production.”

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