Faraday Future promised it was making the future of automotive transportation, but now it looks like it's making its own grave.
Anyone who watched Faraday Future’s uncomfortably bad product reveal at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show knows the electric vehicle startup is on thin ice, but a new report by Business Insider suggests the company may have already begun submerging.
Once hyped as the automaker of the future, FF has never quite found a rhythm. In just two years, the startup has been sued twice, lost several key members of its leadership team, missed product intro deadlines, and failed to make any meaningful progress on its Nevada-based manufacturing facility.
Those who have been following Faraday’s tale of woe may be looking for more solid proof that the company is crumbling. We may just have it. Within BI’s report, sources close to FF state that just 60 pre-orders of the FF91 — Faraday’s first production model — have been received. While FF announced that 64,000 reservations had been made following the CES reveal, only 60 of those people had submitted a $5,000 deposit. To put it another way, only 60 people have put their full confidence in the FF91 (to the extent that $5,000 of a total sticker price of $180,000 expresses support). Digital Trends reached out to Faraday Future to confirm the pre-order total and a spokesperson replied with the following:
“Business Insider’s report that only 60 paid FF 91 reservations were made is not accurate. We have far exceeded the number of available reservations for the FF 91 Alliance Edition as a limited offering. Only customers who submitted a $5,000 paid reservation are eligible to upgrade their existing reservation to this limited edition vehicle.
For background, the Alliance Edition is limited to 300 units.”
Though this comment doesn’t specifically say how many paid pre-orders have been received, if only 300 limited edition models are available and FF has received more orders than they have available, we at least know its somewhere above the 300 unit mark.
Granted, when given the option to make a reservation without having to fork over $5,000, it makes sense that many would hold onto their cash. Unfortunately for Faraday, $300K in pre-orders won’t change the company’s lot.
Though Tesla’s Model 3 will be a far cheaper vehicle ($35K to start), it’s worth mentioning that nearly 400,000 people were willing to fork over a $1,000 [refundable] deposit to grab a spot in line. Tesla has a physical assembly plant, has produced three vehicles already, and despite some debt, has always paid its bills. By comparison, Faraday Future displayed a vaporware sportscar concept and a pre-production crossover that looks unlikely to fulfill its autonomous promises under pressure.
Without a seismic shift in solvency or structure, it looks like Faraday has no Future.
Article originally published on 01-23-2017. Updated by Alex Kalogiannis to add statement by Faraday Future spokesperson and comment on its implications.