Lucid Surges Toward Deepening Problems

When electric vehicle maker Lucid announced earnings, every part of them was disappointing. The figures also pointed out that the company likely will be gone within a year or two. (These are the worst new cars for humans and the environment.)

CEO Peter Rawlinson commented on its quarterly numbers: “We are on track to produce over 10,000 vehicles in 2023, with companywide initiatives ongoing that will enable Lucid to pivot to higher volumes as market conditions allow,” Early this year, the 2023 forecast was a range of 10,000 to 14,000.

Even at the high end of the forecast range, the figure is not large enough for Lucid to compete in a market made vicious by price cuts to gain market share. The base price of a Lucid model is an absurdly high $87,400. Its highest-priced model carries a sticker price of $249,000.

The first thing Lucid’s results did was disappoint Wall Street. Revenue of $149.4 million was short of expectations for $209.98 million, a major miss. Lucid lost $0.43 a share, against an expected loss of $0.41.

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Management made the absurd claim that its revenue was up 159% from the same quarter a year ago. The current number is still particularly low. Despite the increase in revenue, Lucid lost $772 million on an operating basis, compared to $598 million last year.

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Lucid’s most significant problem is its dwindling cash. At the end of the quarter, it had cash and cash equivalents of $2.9 billion, compared to $3.2 billion in the same period a year before. Lucid also has $441 million in long-term debt, down from $530 million. Management faces the thorny question of how long Lucid can survive.

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