Teslanair. That’s a recently-coined word that describes early TSLA investors who’ve held onto the stock since the very beginning, watched its price soar, and became millionaires thanks to their faith in Elon Musk’s vision and Tesla’s ultimate mission to bring electric cars to the masses. Tesla’s stock has been called a unicorn by many, and investors have been hoping to find the next unicorn among other EV startups like Nikola and Aptera — and, of course, one of the most realistic competitors to Tesla yet, Lucid Motors. And Lucid has big plans to take on Tesla in just about every vehicle category that matters, including pickup trucks and “halo” sportscars, if the company’s recently revealed investor stack is to be believed.
Headed by Tesla’s former VP of engineering, Peter Rawlinson, Lucid has been humbly (its word) building up to the task of launching a premier automotive brand that could go toe-to-toe with any automaker out there, without making the same mistakes others have made. That was made clear at the official launch of the production version of the Lucid Air sedan last year, where Lucid — without naming Tesla directly — drew attention to its cars’ build quality, the consistency of their panel gaps, the artful design details that simply wouldn’t work if any aspect of the cars’ construction had been off by even the barest fractions of inches.
Keep in mind, this was after Lucid had revealed a 500-mile all-electric range and a 9-second 1/4 mile time that put the luxury sedan in very heady company, performance-wise. As such, it was a stunning debut for the Lucid Air, and a statement of intent that Lucid Motors planned to deliver vehicles that would be built right, the first time, and not force its buyers to suffer from the indignities of falling bumpers, flying sunroofs, or Home Depot-level assembly line hacks. It was a sign that the company might be driven by someone who wasn’t subject to hype (his own, or anyone else’s), and who understood what Napoleon meant when he told his servants, “Dress me slowly, I am in a hurry.”
Such a person is to be taken seriously, in my opinion. So, when the company’s recent SPAC IPO — undertaken as part of a revers-merger with blank-check firm, Churchill Capital — was followed by an investor stack that showed a snapshot of the company’s plans to follow up its initial Air sedan and Gravity SUV with even larger, more upscale sedan and SUV offerings, it got my attention. But it was the planned electric pickup and coupe that got me genuinely excited.
Lucid’s plans were given even more of a boost by Churchill Capital’s $11.74B valuation of the company at the time the SPAC was announced. That valuation would see roughly $4.4 billion in total funding go directly to Lucid. “Lucid is going public to accelerate into the next phase of our growth as we work towards the launch of our new pure-electric luxury sedan, Lucid Air, in 2021 followed by our Gravity performance luxury SUV in 2023,” Rawlinson said in a statement quoted by MarketWatch. “Financing from the transaction will also be used to support expansion of our manufacturing facility in Arizona, which is the first greenfield purpose-built EV manufacturing facility in North America, and is already operational for pre-production builds of the Lucid Air.”
I’m not sure what to make of all the financial news, as I am certainly no expert when it comes to financial matters and absolutely nothing that I say or do should be considered investment advice. Still, in the interest of full disclosure I feel like I should tell you all that I am definitely psyched, and I do plan on buying a few shares in Lucid once that becomes an option.
What do you guys think? Is Lucid going to become a real player in a field of faltering legacy brands with no clear sense of how to adapt to the new electric reality, or will it crash and burn long before we ever get the chance to hook a Lucid pickup to a Cybertruck for an epic, electric pull-off? Scroll on down to the comments section and let us know.
Sources | Images: Lucid Motors, via MarketWatch.