In first-quarter financial results, Lucid posted a $598 million operating loss on revenue of $57.6 million. Because of a $523 million improvement in the value of its common stock, Lucid’s net loss was only $81.3 million compared with a loss of $2.9 billion during the same quarter last year.
CFO Sherry House said the automaker’s $5.4 billion cash on hand would allow it to execute its expansion plans into 2023 as it rolls out more inexpensive versions of the Air sedans and the planned 2024 launch of the Gravity SUV.
Price hikes for the Air come in anticipation of continuing elevated costs for parts and shipping, as well as some higher costs for the next phase of factory construction, House said.
Lucid’s Phoenix-area plant currently has installed capacity of 34,000 vehicles per year and is expanding to 90,000 by late 2023, the company said. By mid-decade, House said, capacity will rise to 350,000 in Arizona and 150,000 at a new plant planned for Saudi Arabia.
Air price hikes are effective June 1, leaving a small window for new reservations to lock in current prices. After this month, new reservations in the U.S. will start at $154,000 for the Air Grand Touring, not including shipping. That’s an increase from $139,000.
Lucid said it is on track to produce more inexpensive trims later in the year. The Air Touring will start at $107,400, with the price increasing from $95,000 currently. The base Air Pure will start at $87,400, up from its current price of $77,400, the company said.
“Similar to many companies in our industry, we continue to face global supply chain and logistics challenges, including COVID-related factory shutdowns in China,” House said.
Lessons from Rivian
By respecting current prices for its vehicles, Lucid is avoiding the uproar caused at another popular EV startup, Rivian Automotive, which attempted to raise prices on its reservation holders in March to massive blowback.
Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe apologized to buyers of the R1T pickup and R1S SUV for betraying their trust and backtracked on the price increases for vehicles booked before March 1.
Rivian’s price hikes of about 20 percent were higher than Lucid’s, but Rivian also created more inexpensive models at the older price points. Rivian’s base R1T starts at $67,500 before shipping costs.
Both Lucid and Rivian have received widespread industry praise for their high-end EVs, along with order backlogs that will stretch into next year and beyond. Rivian said it has continued to log new orders even at the higher prices.
Reuters contributed to this report.