For EV maker Faraday Future, it seems that its name should have been Faraway Future, as the expectation of sellable vehicles seemed to be a stage show to separate money from investors. And they succeeded, having secured $135 million earlier this month. The money insured that Faraday did indeed have a future.
But do consumers care? We’re about to find out.
According to the company, its first model, the FF 91 Futurist, will begin production in late March 2023, with deliveries arriving in April.
Of course that’s all in the future and “assuming receipt of investor funds on the company’s expected timeline.”
Production starts for the Chinese market before the company launches its assault on American wallets.
“I’m excited to see the realization of our U.S-China dual-home market strategy take shape as we ship one of our latest vehicles to China for testing purposes,” said Chen Xuefeng, CEO of Faraday Future. “Stay tuned as we prepare the Ultimate Intelligent TechLuxury FF 91 Futurist for the two largest global EV markets.”
Despite the 20th Century lingo, and a vehicle name that overcompensates for any shortcomings, the Ultimate Intelligent TechLuxury FF 91 Futurist is undergoing the automaker’s “Product and Technology Generation 2.0 program” aka testing and validation, now that company has enough money to do so. And that testing will be done in China. It’s the company’s second evaluation. After all, this is the 2.0, with the Futurist now possessing 26 upgraded system and components.
Faraday reaches its future
And what’s the result? Gaze into Faraday Future’s future though their public relations crystal ball.
“Competing with Ferrari, Maybach, Rolls Royce, and Bentley as the only next-gen Ultimate Intelligent TechLuxury EV product, the FF 91 Futurist offers a unique and intelligent EV experience with extreme technology and an ultimate user experience.”
Uh huh. Right.
So, a new automaker, one that’s never built a vehicle before, expects to compete with the world’s best and have people pay for it? Really? Now there’s something we’ve never heard before. Faraday Future is promising the Futurist to provide 1,050 horsepower, an EPA-certified range of 381 miles, and 0-60 mph time of 2.27 seconds. Excuse me while I adjust my internal organs; they’re pressed against my backbone.
That should prove impressive, nevertheless. And why not? It’s going to be made in California.
The West Coast manufacturer is also saying that its vehicle provides “a unique rear intelligent Internet system, and a revolutionary user experience designed to create a mobile, connected, intelligent, and luxurious third Internet living space.” What that exactly means beyond hype is not explained. Nor is it explained what the first and second internet living space is.
But Faraday Future is convinced it’s going to be a success, and it could be. After all, the Flowbee is a success too. Never underestimate the indiscriminate taste of the American or Chinese consumer.
But luxury cars, like luxury products, gain their cache from more than executive dreams and high price tags. They have to earn it. Customers have to believe it. And there’s a difference between a premium automaker, like Genesis, and a true luxury automaker, like Rolls-Royce.
Will it matter to the Chinese market? They are far more open to new brands than Americans, and could find success there, if Chinese and American political hostilities end. But given the presence of Chinese “weather balloons” it remains to be seen whether China will accept another American-built automobile regardless of the founder’s heritage or the quality of the car.
Nevertheless, the company plans to start production of its FF 91 in late March, with deliveries occurring in April.
Of course, this is another promise we’ve heard before. Faraday Future said it was getting ready to begin production in 2020, but that never happened. Then the company planned to begin production in 2021 with a $1 billion investment, but only unveiled the pre-production model of the FF 91 early in 2022. Within months, the company admitted that its much-ballyhooed 14,000 pre-orders were in fact only 401 genuine orders. That the company has survived its money burn is nothing short of miraculous.
Where did it come from?
Faraday Future was founded by Chinese businessman Jia Yueting in April 2014 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Its factory, dubbed the FF ieFactory California, is reportedly building the car.
“I’m excited to see the realization of our U.S-China dual-home market strategy take shape as we ship one of our latest vehicles to China for testing purposes,” said Chen Xuefeng, Global CEO of Faraday Future. “Stay tuned as we prepare the Ultimate Intelligent TechLuxury FF 91 Futurist for the two largest global EV markets.”
But whether there are enough consumers to pay $180,000 on an unproven horse with shaky finances remains to be seen. With a growing number of conventional automakers with solid financial resources coming to market, Faraday’s Future may be one of wishful thinking.