As the electric vehicle (EV) market continues to burgeon, California-based automaker Lucid is taking bold strides to solidify its position globally. The company’s latest venture? A brand-new manufacturing hub in Saudi Arabia.
Lucid’s Journey in 2023
The journey for Lucid in 2023 has seen its highs and lows. Engulfed in the tumultuous waves of an EV price war, production hitches, and internal recalibrations, Lucid has weathered a challenging storm. Yet, undeterred, the automaker looks ahead with optimism, as illustrated by its recent announcement: the inauguration of its state-of-the-art Saudi Arabia production unit.
According to Autoweek, the AMP-2 facility aims to eventually roll out 155,000 units each year, addressing both production challenges and the Saudi Kingdom’s substantial order of 100,000 Lucid Air models.
Lucid’s Unique Market Position
While many startups are striving to carve a niche in the bustling EV arena, Lucid stands apart. Pitted against industry giants like Tesla, Lucid’s hallmark lies in its exceptional engineering prowess coupled with high-end features.
This commitment to luxury and quality, however, brought it face-to-face with the industry’s significant determinant—pricing. To remain competitive, Lucid recalibrated its pricing strategy in 2023, even offering generous incentives late in 2022 to retain its clientele and motivate its workforce. These adjustments, albeit essential, culminated in internal restructuring, with an 18% workforce layoff in March.
Hope on the Horizon
Despite facing a net loss of $779.5 million in the year’s initial quarter, Lucid remains buoyant. Apart from anticipating the launch of its Gravity SUV, the company pins its hopes on the newly established plant just north of Jeddah. Situated in the heart of the King Abdullah Economic City, the AMP-2 facility’s initial role is assembling pre-manufactured models shipped from Lucid’s Arizona AMP-1 unit.
The arrangement promises a 5,000-unit output rate until mid-decade, post which Lucid envisions the facility evolving into a full-fledged assembly unit with an impressive 155,000-unit annual production capacity. Lucid emphasizes the plant’s strategic alignment with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative.
Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO of Lucid Group, asserted, “Our facility will pave the way for the country’s electric automotive industry and the expansion of the supply chain, and with the support of the Saudi government, we are proud to drive local talent development in the technology industry.”
Lucid’s Global Vision
While the immediate focus is meeting local demand, Lucid has grander aspirations. The Saudi-produced vehicles are slated for a broader market reach soon. The factory’s strategic Red Sea positioning is anticipated to alleviate supply chain bottlenecks, ensuring seamless access via land and sea.
Faisal Sultan, Lucid Group’s VP and Managing Director for the Middle East, commented, “AMP-2 in KAEC gives us the ability to efficiently fulfill the recently signed agreement with the government of Saudi Arabia to purchase up to 100,000 vehicles over a 10-year period.”
With Saudi’s Public Investment Fund holding a significant 60% stake in Lucid and a whopping $6 billion investment earmarked for the nation’s EV ecosystem, Lucid’s endeavors in Saudi Arabia herald a promising era for EVs in the Middle East.
The synergy between Lucid’s innovation and Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 paves the way for a greener, electrified future.