Lucid Motor's manufacturing woes go beyond the widespread parts shortages that have hit the auto industry as a whole. The electric vehicle startup — which delivered just 679 vehicles in the second quarter — is also struggling with problems of its own making.
CEO Peter Rawlinson is now spending most of his time troubleshooting at Lucid's Arizona plant rather than at headquarters in California, he said on an earnings call Wednesday.
The move is reminiscent of Tesla CEO Elon Musk's claim of sleeping on his company's EV factory floor during a new product launch that Musk called "production hell" in 2017.
Speaking from Lucid's plant near Phoenix, Rawlinson said: "I've been spending the vast majority of my time here, right here on the shop floor. And I believe it's my responsibility as a CEO to be here resolving issues and helping to onboard new executives."
The assembly problems are such that Lucid again slashed its production forecast for this year, to between 6,000 and 7,000 vehicles. Its previous estimate was 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles, which it set in February. Last year, Lucid initially put its 2022 production target at 20,000 vehicles.
Lucid is currently building the most expensive trims of its Air sedan, which range from $89,050 for the Pure trim, including shipping, to $180,650 for the Grand Touring Performance. Rawlinson said the automaker has over 37,000 reservations for the vehicles.
"This quarter has proven to be a very challenging period," Rawlinson said after reporting revenue of $97.3 million and an adjusted loss of $414.1 million, which were below the market consensus.
"And while we have experienced supply chain and logistics challenges along with the entire industry, the limitations of our logistics systems have compounded the challenge," said Rawlinson, who worked under Musk at Tesla a decade ago.
Lucid said it ended the quarter with $4.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents and investments, "which is expected to fund the company well into 2023."