Faraday Future Dramatically Lowers Automotive Ambitions

Faraday Future is running on fumes. But it's still running. The Gardena-based luxury electric car start-up raised $14 million in emergency funding and will lease an assembly plant at an old factory near Fresno that will enable it to turn out 10,000 cars a year.

The company has dramatically lowered its ambitions. Its goal now is to try to remain solvent enough to start manufacturing and selling the FF 91, a powerful, technology-packed luxurious electric sedan with a base price expected to top $100,000.

As recently as last year, the company had plans to turn out 150,000 cars a year from a massive new $5-billion assembly plant near Las Vegas.

Those plans were dashed when the company's primary investor, Chinese entrepreneur and LeEco Chief Executive Jia Yueting, ran into severe financial difficulty in his home country, including a government-decreed freeze on assets. Faraday financing dried up, and the Las Vegas factory never got off the ground.

Last week, a two-year-old investment firm called Innovatus Capital Partners handed Faraday $13.75 million on a one-year loan, but not before laying claims to Faraday's Gardena headquarters as collateral. The cost of the loan was not made public.

Faraday's new factory sits along a two-lane road in Hanford, a town of 55,000, and a railroad crossroads. Armstrong Rubber Co. first opened the building in 1962 to manufacture tires. In 1985, Italian tire-maker Pirelli bought the factory but shut it down in 2001, citing foreign competition and lower wage rates in Brazil and Venezuela.

The building has been mostly empty since, though late last year a medical marijuana supplier sought city permission to use it as a grow farm and processing plant, provoking a debate over morals versus economic development in the conservative community. The company bowed out in March after the city said it would wait until after the Nov....

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