Lucid Motors (formerly known as Atieva Motors) made headlines earlier this month when it landed Peter Hochholdinger as its new Vice President of Manufacturing. Hochholdinger previously held the position of Tesla’s Head of Production. This isn’t the first time Lucid Motors has taken talent from Elon Musk’s behemoth of an automaker. In April of 2019, Lucid announced that it had appointed former Chief Engineer of the Model S Peter Rawlinson to its CEO position. Hochholdinger’s hiring serves to solidify the rumor that Lucid is indeed ready to begin production on its much anticipated line of all-electric vehicles (EVs).

These staffing moves come on the heels of an announced $1 billion investment for the construction of a manufacturing facility in Arizona from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia. In a statement made after the deal was announced, a spokesman for the PIF told reporters, “PIF’s international investment strategy aims to strengthen PIF’s performance as an active contributor in the international economy, an investor in the industries of the future and the partner of choice for international investment opportunities. Our investment in Lucid is a strong example of these objectives.”

Founded in California in 2007 by Bernard Tse and Sam Weng, Lucid currently employs around 300 full-time workers. Until earlier this year, Lucid had received the majority of its funding from various Chinese and Japanese conglomerates. The deal with the Saudis is a turning point in the company’s story and proves that there is real potential in its brand. The company’s projected goal is to employ around 2,000 full-time employees by 2022, and eventually produce between 20,000 to 130,000 cars per year.

The company announced in 2016 that its first offering will be the “Lucid Air,” a luxury sedan to directly compete with Tesla’s Model S. The Air features a 400 hp front motor and a 600 hp rear motor for a combined horsepower of 900 to 1,000 when operating at peak performance. Lucid has teamed with Mobileye to use their technology for the sedan’s driver assist features. The Air has a top limited speed of 217 mph, but special unlimited versions of the car have hit speeds as high as 235 mph. The sedan will be priced around $60,000 to start, and will have a range of approximately 240 miles on a single charge.

Touting what it sees as superior design of the interior of the car’s interior, Lucid appears to be relying on additional cabin space to set the Air apart from competitors. “The Lucid Air is a marvel of proportion and form. Freed from the spatial requirements of an internal combustion engine, the Air achieves an expansive full-size interior within a midsize exterior, delivering sublime comfort in a new luxury class,” according to the company’s website. Interested customers can reserve their Lucid Air with a refundable deposit of $2,500.

Any of our readers have an opinion on Lucid or the Air that they would like to share? Will the company be able to compete with Tesla, Karma, and the other luxury EVs on the market today? Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

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