For months, startup Lucid Motors has been up front that it’s looking to raise extra money to move forward with plans for a factory to make its all-electric vehicle, the Lucid Air. Behind the scenes, the fledgling automaker has also been seeking out a possible buyer, according to a new report from Bloomberg, which says that Lucid approached senior management of Ford about a possible sale.
Citing unnamed people familiar with the situation, Bloomberg reports that Lucid’s considering an outright sale after holding the discussion with Ford.
Reached for comment, a Lucid Motors spokesperson told Jalopnik: “We cannot discuss details of our Series D funding round or comment on rumors.”
Lucid’s chief technology officer, Peter Rawlinson, told Bloomberg that the automaker is “thrilled with the response from investors,” but declined any further comment. A spokesperson for Ford declined to comment to Bloomberg.
Lucid apparently made the move to Ford within the last couple of months, after the traditional automaker ousted former CEO Mark Fields. Bloomberg explains.
Lucid approached the senior management of Ford about a possible sale, the people added. Ford is not looking for a deal at this time, one of the people said, as new Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett is in the midst of a 100-day review of the company’s plans and priorities.
Lucid was founded in 2007, and has within its ranks a number of engineers from Tesla. Lucid wants to start production on the all-electric luxury Air sedan by 2018, and has said a base model of the vehicle will start at $60,000 and have a claimed range of 240 miles. A “well-optioned” Air will carry 1000 HP and a claimed range of 400 miles, according to the automaker.
The automaker has been up-front about its slow crawl to bring the Air to life. The base model of the vehicle is expected to price around $60,000, before incentives, and Lucid says it’ll have a claimed range of 240 miles. Lucid says a $100,000 “well-optioned” Air will carry 1000 HP and a claimed range of 400 miles.
Ford, under Fields, made it clear that it wants to invest heavily in autonomous vehicles in the coming years. Fields had said that Ford wants to begin selling autonomous vehicles that can be used in limited circumstances by 2021.
But it’s hard to see why this tiny startup that has yet to make a production car would be of much value to a giant like Ford. It’s not like Lucid is a pioneer of battery technology, or say, a company that specializes in some kind of autonomous system Ford or another automaker would find desirable.
It’s interesting that Lucid—in a quest to raise funds and get the Air manufactured by 2018—is pulling a move that seems ripped out of Sergio Marchionne’s playbook with Fiat Chrysler, wherein the CEO sought a merger with just about everyone. It could signal the company hasn’t had much luck raising funds just yet, or, perhaps, it’s simply looking to keep its options open.
If anything, the company certainly needs an influx of cash—and fast, if it wants to keep the 2018 goal within its immediate purview. Bloomberg said the estimated cost to build the proposed factory in Arizona is $700 million.