Faraday Future Makes Progress On New California Factory

Faraday Future claims to be making progress on its new factory in Hanford, California. Despite having less than six months to finish construction work and start production, the company said in a press release that it still hopes to deliver its first FF 91 electric SUV before the end of the year.

Initial work at the site began in March, but Faraday has now named a general contractor—San Fernando, California, firm Bernards—for the 1 million square-foot factory. The first batch of production equipment has also been installed and tested, Faraday said.

Faraday initially planned to build a brand new factory in North Las Vegas, Nevada, receiving a healthy incentives package from the state government. But work on the Nevada factory quickly ground to a flat amid reports of financial issues with Faraday’s patron, Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, and his LeEco tech company. Faraday announced the Hanford site, which previously housed a Pirelli tire factory, last August.

Steady progress on the Hanford factory is an encouraging sign for a company that has seen plenty of turmoil over the past few months, including executive departures and the fallout from LeEco’s financial troubles. Jia took over as CEO in December, claiming to have secured a financial lifeline, but he is being pursued by the Chinese government over his own debts.

Faraday is also suing former CFO Stefan Krause, claiming he poached employees and stole trade secrets for his new Evelozcity electric-car startup. Evelozcity denies these claims and has said it plans to launch its first electric car in 2021.

Launching the FF 91 by the end of this year would be a powerful counterpoint to all of the negative news, but rushing to get the car into production could backfire. Quality issues with early-build cars have proven to be a major headache for Tesla, and it’s unlikely that the public will be any more sympathetic to Faraday if its first cars are poorly made.

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