Lucid Announces Q4 Results: Company Sitting on $2.4B in Orders, Cutting Production Goals.
Corporate earnings calls are usually filled with good and bad news, and Lucid Motor’s report this week didn’t deviate from the standard formula. CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson and CFO Sherry House walked investors and the media through the highs and lows of the company’s last quarter and year-end results.
Lucid Motors: The Good News
As expected, Rawlinson begins by highlighting the company’s successes. Of note is that Lucid’s customer reservations now exceed 25,000. These are future sales worth more than $2.4 billion. Reservations have increased by 47 percent since November, he adds.
The Lucid executive also touts that more than 400 Lucid Air Dream Editions have rolled off the assembly line since the company started production in September. 125 of which got delivered by the end of 2021 and another 175 since the new year.
Rawlinson’s cheerleading continues as he calls out the Air’s market-leading range and comments, “We’ve replaced range anxiety with range performance.” Without revealing too much on the company’s battery technology, he remarks that much of the focus is on shrinking and adapting the batteries for the forthcoming entry-level Air Pure sedan and other new models.
Of course, what’s an earnings call without talking about awards and accolades? In addition, to the 2022 MotorTrend Car of the Year award, the Lucid received praise as the Green Car Journal’s Luxury Green Car of the Year and best EV from MotorWeek’s Drivers’ Choice Awards. Green Car Reports also named the Air the “Best Car to Buy in 2022.”
Getting into the numbers, Lucid reports $26.4 million in 2021 Q4 revenue. More than $21 million came from Air Dream Edition deliveries, with the balance resulting from sales of Formula-E batteries. Lucid has slightly more than $6.2 billion cash on hand, according to company reports. $2 billion was raised through a bond offering.
Other stats include bringing the number of studios/service centers to 20 in 2021, in line with previously announced plans. New locations opened in 2022 in Newport Beach, CA, and Short Hills, NJ, bringing Lucid retail sites to 22. International expansion is proceeding in Middle Eastern and European markets.
Lucid Production and Factory Updates
There are also location developments on the production side. Work is underway on a 2.85 million square foot expansion of Lucid’s Arizona factory. Expected to come online by late next year, the extra capacity will enable the automaker to expand production from 34,000 cars per year to 90,000.
Rawlinson also said that the company is gearing up to start construction of a new factory in Saudi Arabia. There’s no word on the size of the plant, but he adds that the facility plans to have up to a 150,000-vehicle capacity when it goes live in 2025. Ultimately, Lucid seeks to settle into an annual pace of 365,000 cars (when adding additional Arizona factory space beyond the current expansion).
What’s Going on with the Lucid Gravity SUV?
While Lucid enthusiasts and EV watchers are drooling over the teased Gravity SUV, Rawlinson keeps the suspense going further as production has been pushed back to the first half of 2024. No reason is given for the delay, but it’s safe to assume ongoing manufacturing delays are spilling into the future product cycle.
Lucid Motors: The Not-So-Good News
The bad has to come with the good. And while Rawlinson artfully went over Lucid’s disappointing production delays, the public market didn’t take too well to the news. Lucid (LCID) stock dropped almost 14 percent on the day following the earnings call.
Initial company projections called for 20,000 cars to get built in 2022, but internal forecasts are now dropping builds down to 12,000-14,000 vehicles. That’s a 30-40 percent cut. Significantly, this means that as many as half of the 25,000 Air reservation holders may have to wait until 2023 to take delivery. As such, some will drop off, and prospective customers may delay making reservations until the factory picks up speed.
Interestingly, Rawlinson cites the delay as not mainly the result of semiconductor availability (a problem numerous other automakers face these days). But, instead, the issue stems from trouble sourcing more basic components like glass and carpeting.
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