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Lucid Motors ekes out a new delivery record as it searches for more EV buyers

Date 10 Apr, 2024

Writen by Sean O'Kane

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Lucid Motors delivered more EVs in the first quarter of 2024 than it has in any other quarter, though it set the record by a very slim margin.

The Saudi-backed, California-based electric vehicle company said Tuesday morning that it shipped 1,967 luxury sedans in the quarter. That’s just a few more than it shipped in the fourth quarter of 2022, when it set its previous record of 1,932 deliveries. The company said it built just 1,728 sedans in the first quarter, though, meaning it will need to boost production in the coming quarters if it intends to meet its modest guidance of making 9,000 EVs this year.

Lucid’s new delivery record comes as the company is struggling to find consistent demand for its pricey luxury sedan, the Air. The company is still months away from starting production on its upcoming Gravity SUV, so it is banking on discounts, increased marketing efforts and a more affordable trim of the Air to sustain things until it can ship that new model. In the meantime, it recently turned back to Saudi Arabia to raise another $1 billion to fund what is otherwise still a money-losing business.

Lucid is not alone in its struggles. Rivian also started 2024 on a somewhat flat foot, building and shipping roughly the same number of vehicles in the first quarter as it did in the final term of 2024. These companies are trying to establish themselves in a rapidly changing market, where Tesla has consistently slashed prices and large automakers have scaled back their most ambitious plans to release all-electric vehicles en masse.

While Lucid set a new high mark for itself in the first quarter, it did not say how many of the deliveries were of the most-affordable version of the Air sedan, which it started shipping late last year. The company also said last year that it began shipping the first vehicles to Saudi Arabia for final assembly — the first step in a plan to sell as many as 100,000 vehicles to its majority owner. But it has not specified how many Air sedans have made it to the Kingdom to date. The company will only have the ability to assemble, at most, 5,000 vehicles in Saudi Arabia until a full production plant comes online in a few years.

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