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Credit…Bryan Derballa for The New York Times

Lucid Motors, an electric carmaker seen as a potential challenger to Tesla, said on Thursday it had only delivered a few hundred vehicles in the first three months of the year but maintained it was still on. on track to sell at least 12,000 by the end of 2022.

The company, led by a former top Tesla engineer, has been seen as one of the most promising electric vehicle manufacturing start-ups. But it disappointed investors in February when it reported problems making enough cars at its Arizona plant to meet demand and cut its production forecast. Lucid shares have lost two-thirds of their value since their peak in November.

Lucid said he was struggling to acquire the components needed to fulfill the reservations he received for 30,000 vehicles. “Like many companies in our industry, we continue to face global supply chain and logistics challenges, including Covid-related factory closures in China,” Sherry House, chief financial officer of China, said Thursday. Lucid, in a statement.

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

Lucid delivered 360 vehicles in the first quarter, compared to 125 in the previous quarter. In April, the company delivered 300 cars, a sign that production is ramping up rapidly, Peter Rawlinson, who designed the Tesla Model S before founding Lucid, said in an interview Thursday. He and Ms House said supply chain issues were easing.

“We actually see a light at the end of the tunnel now,” Mr Rawlinson said. The company has suffered shortages of some products, he said, but declined to specify which ones.

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

Lucid’s first product, the $169,000 Lucid Air Dream Edition sedan, was named Car of the Year by MotorTrend magazine, which praised the styling, craftsmanship and range of nearly 520 vehicle miles. Lucid and Tesla vehicles dominate the Environmental Protection Agency’s ranking of the most efficient electric cars.

But like many new auto companies, Lucid has struggled to ramp up production. Lucid said Thursday it would raise prices for new bookings starting in June. The most affordable vehicle will cost $87,400 before government incentives, and the most expensive will cost $179,000. Tesla and other electric car makers have also dramatically hiked prices, putting the vehicles out of reach for middle-income buyers.

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

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


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