US luxury EV maker Lucid set to enter China market

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – U.S. luxury electric vehicle (EV) maker Lucid Group is preparing to enter the world’s largest auto market, its head of China operations Zhu Jiang said on Thursday.

Lucid will sell imported cars in China while also considering local production in the country, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorised to speak with media.

Zhu confirmed to Reuters that the company was preparing to enter the Chinese market. He declined to comment on any plans for local production.

The auto industry veteran previously worked at Jidu Motor, the EV arm of local technology giant Baidu, and before that was Ford Motor’s Mach-E project leader in China.

Lucid last week said it planned to raise about $3 billion through a stock offering, nearly two-thirds of which will come from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).

Zhu said the funding would help Lucid “bring the advanced EV technology and product experience to the industry and users globally at a faster pace.”

“China is also looking forward to it,” he said.

Lucid, like its peers, is battling mounting losses and tightening cash reserves amid recession fears and a price war sparked by market leader Tesla.

The company last month trimmed its 2023 production forecast and reported lower-than-expected first-quarter revenue, with CEO Peter Rawlinson citing rising interest rates as a challenge to the market.

In the U.S., it has largely shied away from lowering prices on its Air luxury sedan that starts at $87,400.

(Reporting by Zhang Yan, Zhuzhu Cui and Brenda Goh; Editing by Jamie Freed)