To say Faraday Future has been having a tough couple of months is probably the understatement of the year.
The latest in a long list of setbacks is news that main backer Jia Yueting, the founder of Chinese tech giant LeEco, has been placed on an official list of debt defaulters in China after failing to comply with a court order to pay one of his creditors, China Daily reports.
People added to the list can be barred from taking up executive positions as well as purchasing airline and high-speed train tickets. There’s even the possibility Yueting will be barred from buying luxury goods online.
Yueting’s fall from grace started in November 2016 when he came out with the statement that he was experiencing a cash crunch due to too rapid expansion of his various ventures. Since then his once successful LeEco business has generated a long list of creditors demanding to be paid. Some have even taken to camping out in the lobby of LeEco's headquarters.
Faraday Future wasn’t spared. In July, work on the company’s planned $1 billion plant in Nevada came to a stop. Fortunately, Faraday Future in August was able to secure an existing plant in California so that it would be able to get its first model, the FF 91, into production sooner than if it waits for the Nevada plant to come online. The Nevada plant is still the long-term goal, though, as the Californian plant only supports small-scale production. But that’s assuming Faraday Future can actually start building the FF 91 and it becomes a success.
The difficulties have led to quite a number of Faraday Future executives calling it quits. Only a week ago we reported that chief designer Richard Kim had resigned. His exit followed the departure of two former BMW execs brought on to help steer the company in a positive direction. Faraday Future and one of those execs, Stefan Krause, ended things on poor terms, with Faraday Future claiming Krause was fired and Krause stating he left on his own terms.
Unfortunately, the difficulties mentioned might only be scratching at the surface of problems facing Faraday Future and Yueting. The Verge has an in-depth report citing multiple sources linked with the company. The sources mention numerous difficulties ranging from mismanagement to delusions of grandeur to misappropriations of company funds.
Pictured above is Yueting with a concept he unveiled in 2016 for an electric car to be sold under the LeSee brand in China. Yes, he's been attempting to start two electric car companies simultaneously.