Faraday Future FF 91
Faraday Future's vision hasn't exactly panned out as once imagined, and serious financial problems have ensued. However, a Hong Kong-based entity has thrown the struggling electric-car maker a $1.5 billion lifeline to keep the lights on.
Business Insider reported on Tuesday that the unnamed entity has already deposited $550 million of the investment to keep Faraday Future afloat. The remaining $950 million will be dispersed after the company meets undisclosed project milestones, sources told the publication.
With an influx of much-needed cash, Faraday Future is hosting a suppliers summit in Los Angeles this week to show the company is making a go of it. Bosch, LG Chem, Fuji Technical & Miyazu, and Velodyne are reportedly in attendance.
The electric-car start-up also disclosed that its turn-key facility in Hanford, California, should be operational by this December. As of February 1, the property was fully vacated and the company will move forward with construction of the plant by the end of the financial quarter, Faraday's global manufacturing executive Dag Reckhorn said. According to a source familiar with the construction plans, robots and equipment meant for the Las Vegas plant are set to go to the California plant.
Faraday isn't out of the clear just yet, even with the new funds. The company's main backer, Jia Yueting, remains blacklisted in his home country of China due to unpaid debts. He's also had his assets frozen after failing to pay his creditors. Yueting announced last January that he would not return to China, defying court orders, and would remain in the United States to help Faraday.
A slew of other crises have hit Faraday Future in the past year. The company's top designer resigned, it halted work indefinitely at its Nevada-based manufacturing site, and Faraday fired its now-former CFO Stefan Krause and CTO Ulrich Kranz. Insiders said many employees stopped showing up for work last December as morale tanked.
Per top executives, Faraday is back and ready to put its past behind it. The committed bunch touted an ambitious plan to put the company's first electric car, the FF91, into production by the end of 2018, which should be a trick given that the plant is scheduled to open right at that time. Plans for a second Chinese market vehicle, called the FF81, are underway as well. The FF81 is said to be a smaller version of the FF91, and an unveiling is expected to happen in Beijing, though timing is unknown.