Lucid Motors breaks ground on Ariz. plant, signals production in late 2020

In addition to Lucid ramping up for production and working on the factory, Rawlinson said it is also building up its sales and marketing stores to showcase the “very best, next-generation electric car” as a luxury brand manufactured entirely in the U.S.

Rawlinson, former chief engineer of Tesla’s Model S, was named Lucid’s CEO in April after being chief technology officer.

“[Customers are] driving race-proven electric vehicle technology,” Rawlinson said of the Air sedan, noting Lucid’s battery technology has been used for all 24 vehicles in the fifth Formula E race series.

“We’re able to apply that learning from racing back into our Lucid Air car.”

Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 as Atieva by Sam Weng and Bernard Tse, a former vice president of Tesla, and has a more than $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

In addition to Rawlinson and Tse’s work at Tesla, Lucid Motors in July also hired Peter Hochholdinger, Tesla Inc.’s former head of production at its Fremont, Calif., factory, as vice president of manufacturing.

Still, Rawlinson previously said that the company positions itself as being less of a competitor to Tesla than with luxury carmakers such as Audi or BMW.

The investment in the plant is happening in three phases, the first of which is approximately $240 million, according to Lucid. The factory is expected to generate 4,800 jobs over the next decade. Rawlinson said the company received state government incentives as a result of selecting Arizona for the site.

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