Jack Ewing

Latest stock, inflation and business news: live updates

credit…Brian Derbala for The New York Times

Lucid Motors, the maker of electric vehicles seen as a potential competitor to Tesla, said Thursday it had delivered just a few hundred vehicles in the first three months of the year, but confirmed it was still on track to sell at least 12,000 of its vehicles. by Tesla. end of 2022.

The company, led by a former Tesla chief engineer, is considered one of the most promising start-ups in the electric car industry. But it disappointed investors in February when it reported problems making enough cars at its Arizona plant to meet demand and lowered production expectations. Lucid’s shares have lost two-thirds of their value since peaking in November.

Lucid said it was struggling to get the components needed to meet the reservations it received for 30,000 vehicles. “Like many companies in our industry, we continue to face global supply chain and logistics challenges, including the shutdown of Covid-related factories in China,” Lucid Chief Financial Officer Sherry House said in a statement Thursday.

In an interview, Ms. House said demand for Lucid cars has remained strong. She said the additional 5,000 reservations received since February would translate, if orders became firm, into an additional $500 million in sales.

Lucid delivered 360 vehicles in the first quarter, up from 125 in the previous quarter. In April, the company delivered 300 cars, a sign that production is accelerating rapidly, Peter Rawlinson, who designed the Tesla Model S before founding Lucid, said in an interview Thursday. He and Ms. House said supply chain problems are receding.

“We’re already seeing a light at the end of the tunnel now,” Mr. Rawlinson said. He said that the company is suffering from a shortage of some goods, but he declined to specify any of them.

The company reported a loss of $81 million in the first quarter of 2022 on sales of $58 million. In the same quarter of the previous year, when the company’s revenue was slim, Lucid reported a loss of $2.9 billion.

MotorTrend magazine’s debut Lucid product, the $169,000 Lucid Air Dream Edition sedan, was named Car of the Year by MotorTrend magazine, praising the car’s design, craftsmanship, and 520-mile range. Lucid and Tesla cars dominate the EPA’s rating of the most efficient electric vehicles.

But like many new car companies, Lucid has struggled with increasing production. Lucid said on Thursday it would raise prices for new bookings starting in June. The most affordable car will cost $87,400 before government incentives, and the most expensive will be $179,000. Tesla and other electric car makers have also raised prices significantly, pushing cars out of reach of middle-income buyers.

“We are facing extraordinary inflation pressures especially for some of the raw materials which are affecting the price of battery cells,” said Mr. Rawlinson. But he also said he was “incredibly optimistic about the future of electric vehicle adoption,” due to efficiency improvements that will lower costs.

With cash reserves of $5.4 billion from investors, including Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Lucid said he has enough money to keep doing well through 2023.

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