Perhaps the most surprising part of Lucid Motors’ earnings presentation today was the announcement that the company plans to build its second factory in Saudi Arabia.
Lucid Motors signed the contracts with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA), Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) and King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) for a car factory that is expected to create up to $3.4 billion in value for Saudi Arabia and Lucid Motors over 15 years.
The factory itself is to be built in KAEC, a megacity currently under construction. KAEC is part of the Saudi Kingdom’s Vision 2030, for the post-oil era, in which the country wants to have its own service and manufacturing industry.
What current fears are shaping us? What fears did people face in the past when today’s technologies did not exist? Why are we not at the forefront of the competition between cultures for new technologies today? What actions do we need to take to see new technologies not as something scary and hostile, but as a means of solving humanity’s big problems?
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However, the factory will not produce complete vehicles, but only assemble them. The actual production itself will take place in Casa Grande in Arizona. Up to 150,000 cars per year are then to be assembled for the Arab region. The factory is scheduled to start production in mid-2022.
Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said in a statement:
Lucid aspires to be a catalyst for change wherever we go, so it makes perfect sense that we are bringing electric vehicles to one of the world’s biggest oil producing nations. Establishing a global manufacturing footprint is a practical, natural step and enables us to grow our brand, scale our business, and address worldwide and untapped market demand on an entirely new level, while also taking action to address climate change through inspiring sustainable transportation. Our strong relationships with the Public Investment Fund and our partners at MISA, KAEC, and SIDF also give us unique insight into the demand for luxury cars and SUVs in Saudi Arabia and beyond, and we are thrilled to introduce the world’s most advanced electric vehicles to more global markets.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund made an investment of one billion dollars in Lucid in 2018. This investment first allowed Lucid to build its own factory and start producing vehicles.
Electric mobility is reshuffling the cards. A number of countries have announced or even started to manufacture electric cars in countries that previously had no or only marginal automobile production. With VinFast, a Vietnamese company is building electric cars, the Philippines has also announced plans and now Saudi Arabia is following suit. Even if at first it will only be the composition of pre-produced vehicle components, this is probably just the beginning for Saudi Arabia and the Arab region.
Here is the full announcement.
This article was also published in German.
I’m wondering where the workers will come from who’ll work in that factory and what rights they will have. Will they have to hand over their passports?