Rivian turned in some unexpectedly solid earnings numbers, while also reporting growing interest in its all-electric delivery vans. But the struggling Lucid Group revealed another series of setbacks once again announcing cuts to its full-year production plans. Revenues fell well short of expectations, as well, though it did beat earnings forecast.
It’s been a tough year for EV startups, brands including Canoo and Faraday Future hanging on by a thread with no clear path to production.
Things haven’t been much better for Lucid that has seen demand for its Air sedan fall well short of target, despite some hefty sales incentives. The California-based EV maker now says it will produce only 8,000 to 8,500 of those EVs this year, down from an earlier target of 10,000. The company also fell short of analysts’ expectations on sales and earnings.
The cutback was required in order to “prudently align with deliveries,” the company said in a statement.
Betting on Gravity
Lucid is hoping to kickstart demand with the launch of a second model, the Gravity SUV, set to make its public debut at the LA Auto Show next week. But that model is still a year from production and, for now, it has to make due with what it has in showrooms.
The Lucid Air sedan has received generally strong reviews, but its price tag — running anywhere from $87,400 to $179,000 — has limited its potential market. Sales incentives that have topped $10,000 per vehicle on some versions of the Lucid Air haven’t helped move the needle much.
For the third quarter, Lucid reported sales of just $137.8 million, while analysts had a consensus forecast of $183.8 million, according to LSEG. It did do better there than expected, however, the Q3 loss amounting to 28 cents a share. Analysts had targeted a 35-cent loss.
The automaker hopes to gain a bit more momentum with the introduction of the rear-wheel drive Lucid Air Pure model in September. At a base $87,400 it’s the least expensive version of the sedan. But the upcoming Gravity is seen as the potential breakthrough product considering the market’s shift from sedans to SUVs.
Lucid’s precarious financial position has forced it to reach out for help. In June, it got a $3 billion bailout led largely by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign investment fund. At the time, the automaker said this would provide it enough of a financial cushion to continue on through 2025 without needing another infusion. By that point, however, Lucid also plans to bring out a more mainstream line-up targeting the same market segment as rival Tesla’s Models 3 sedan and Y SUV.