Faraday Future, the electric-vehicle startup backed by LeEco founder Jia Yueting, halted plans to build a $1 billion factory in Nevada as the troubled tycoon fights for the survival of his Chinese car business.
The plant in North Las Vegas that was due to build Faraday's 1,050-horsepower FF 91 has been put on hold, according to an emailed statement. Faraday earlier this year claimed the FF 91 would be the world's fastest electric car, beating souped-up versions of Tesla Inc.'s Model S sedan.
"We are in the process of identifying a manufacturing facility that presents a faster path to start-of-production and aligns with future strategic options," Faraday said in the statement.
The halt marks another setback for one of China's most outspoken and controversial entrepreneurs. Jia made a fortune building Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp. into China's answer to Netflix, then struggled as he tried to expand into smartphones, movies and autos.
Amid a cash crunch, Jia ceded the CEO role at Leshi and last week said he would step down from its board to focus on serving as chairman of LeEco's auto unit and Faraday Future. Jia asked in a Weibo post for LeEco to be given more time to repay its debts after a Chinese court froze billions of dollars in assets that he controlled.