Lucid Motors secures US$ 1 Bn Investment from Saudi Arabia's PIF

IndraStra Global

Lucid Motors secures US$ 1 Bn Investment from Saudi Arabia's PIF

By Kevin B. Simon

Lucid Motors secures US$ 1 Bn Investment from Saudi Arabia's PIF

On September 17th, 2018, Lucid Motors, touted by few as credible rivals to Tesla in manufacturing All-Electric luxury cars received US$ 1 billion investment, from Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, country's sovereign wealth fund (SWF).

Lucid Motors, a California-based automotive startup was co-founded by Sam Weng, an ex-Oracle Corp employee and two partners under the name "Atieva" in the year 2007. The company has since then have assembled a team comprised of ex- Mazda Motor Corp. and Tesla Inc. employees with Chief Technical Officer Peter Rawlinson at the helm of the project. Rawlinson was also the chief engineer of the now-famous Tesla Model S before joining Lucid Motors back in 2013. It was in 2015 when BAIC BJEV (Beijing Electric Vehicle Co.), an electric vehicle unit of China's state-owned Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC) invested in the new tech center outside San Francisco solely focusing on the development of new-age EVs and eventually plans to manufacture self-driving cars.

Lucid Motors has stated that it plans to utilize funding to commercially launch its first EV product offering, the Lucid Air, by the year 2020. This funding will cover the engineering development and testing of the Lucid Air, at its factory in Casa Grande, Arizona, before the commencement of global rollout starting off from North America.

Lucid Air is a state-of-the-art luxury EV sedan that is spacious inside, with interiors rivaling popular automobile brands in terms of equipment list. It comes with a dual-motor setup, generating 1,000 horsepower which enables acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds.

"The convergence of new technologies is reshaping the automobile, but the benefits have yet to be truly realized. This is inhibiting the pace at which sustainable mobility and energy are adopted. At Lucid, we will demonstrate the full potential of the electric connected vehicle in order to push the industry forward," Rawlinson at the announcement of the investment.

Lucid and PIF are have collaborated around the common vision to create a global luxury electric car company based in Silicon Valley which provides world-class engineering talent. Lucid will work closely with PIF to keep its strategic focus on quickly launching its products to market on the cusp of rapid change that's sweeping in the automotive industry.


A spokesperson for PIF said, "By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF is gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development, and driving revenue and sectoral diversification for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

"By investing in the rapidly expanding electric vehicle market, PIF is gaining exposure to long-term growth opportunities, supporting innovation and technological development and driving revenue and sectoral diversification for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," the PIF spokesperson said.

Saudi Arabia, currently the world’s biggest oil exporter, since 2017 has been diversifying its economy after a sharp dip in crude oil prices. The state plans to turn its PIF into the world’s biggest sovereign fund, with an aim to invest $2 trillion by 2030, hedging against fluctuations in oil prices

This billion dollar investment in Tesla's direct rival by PIF comes after Elon Musk went public in the first week of August 2018 with an idea of going private which would free him from the short-term pressures of the public markets and unbridle him of short-term shocks from the volatile stock price. This lead to an immediate drop in Tesla share prices with shareholders rejecting the idea terming it as a foolhardy adventure. Three weeks later, Musk later backtracked on his statement. As of now, Saudi Arabia holds nearly about 5% of the entire Tesla's valuation.

About the Author:

Kevin Simon (ORCID: 0000-0002-2962-8008) is a Marketing Professional at Cognitio Innovo, with a keen interest in technology-driven businesses. He is graduate in management studies (MBA) from the Institute of Management, Nirma University, Ahmedabad.