Last year, Motoring Weekly wrote an article about the state of Faraday Future and how they were looking forward to a rosy future because they had secured a backer and had a factory in Nevada being built. August was a great time to be at Faraday with their FF-91 about to head into full scale production.
In December, all that changed. The funding had dried up – which was a surprise considering that the backer was Evergrande Health, a Chinese company who had bought 33% of the company! They had defaulted on their payment plan to Faraday Future. Co-incidentally, Evergrande Health had acquired NEVS, the New Electric Vehicle Sweden company – a direct competitor to Faraday Future!
With a hasty public announcement that was intended to send a warning shot over the bow of the Evergrande ship, the two parties got together to effectively cancel the initial funding plan for a new one. Apparently the old one didn’t allow Faraday to go after any further funding from any other company, so it was a crazy position that the company found itself in: one of the owners not providing the money that they committed to when the transaction was done and then not allowing anyone else to fund it!
It is clear that Evergrande Health couldn’t fund both Faraday and NEVS and it didn’t take long for Faraday to force a new agreement on Evergrande via a subsidiary, Season Smart, that allowed a change in shareholder structure for fresh funding. Valuation of the electric car maker has increased by $1bn which is clearly what the next funding round will be focused on!
So 2019 started with investor meetings and demonstrations to attract new money and at the same time they did some winter testing in Minnesota to continue development. The marketing team have their work cut out to raise the positive profile of the company because – as always – bad news sticks around longer than good news.
I’m still looking forward to seeing the production cars come to market, and with other manufacturers, put pressure on Tesla who need to get some serious competition to give the consumer more choice.