No Future for Faraday Future?

The turbulence around the Chinese electric car manufacturer Faraday Future don’t stop coming. After the CEO and other top executives – some of which just joined recently – left the company, the rumors about financial troubles won’t stop. After the public’s disappointment with the sports car study that more resembled a Formula 1 car than a production car, the troubles keep coming.

The techblog Electrek listed a number of changes that happened at Faraday Future, and I added several more problem areas:

  • Marco Mattiacci, former president & CEO of Ferrari North America (from 2010 to 2014), was hired in June as Global Chief Brand & Commercial Officer and quietly left this week.
  • Jörg Sommer, former Senior Vice President Product Marketing & Strategy at Volkswagen, was hired in September for leading product marketing and market entry; he also left the company this week.
  • On Faraday Future’s site of executives no CEO is listed.
  • The founder and CEO of LeEco, Jia Yueting, basically took over the management of Faraday Future. Electrek reports that at an employee meeting Yueting’s address to the employees was rather uncomfortable and raised more questions about the future of Faraday Future.
  • A report by The Verge after a visit at Faraday Future revealed that the startup in fact is two companies. One with a headquarter in California, the other one on Cayman Islands. Latter one also owns all the intellectual property, which typically is a red flag for investors.
  • Because of this it’s not surprising that raising venture capital has stalled. While Yueting put in some initial 300 million dollars more capital has so far not materialized, although there were pledges.
  • Those problems also explain the reports on payment delays for suppliers that were reported by former and current anonymous employees.
  • Also Yueting seems to have drawn resources from Faraday Future for the development of LeEco’s own electric vehicle – the LeSee – without paying Faraday Future for the services, and which also made the company struggle meeting its own deadlines.
  • LeEco itself has its own financial problems.

Faraday Future in the meanwhile tries with a series of teasers that seem to come on an almost daily base to keep the spirit up. Faraday Future aims at revealing a production car at the CES this January in Las Vegas. It may seem like the CES is the last straw to convince potential investors and customers about the future of the company.

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