On July 27, electric car maker Faraday Future (FF) postponed the production of its first car, citing supply chain issues and the need to raise more cash, after Jia said in his circle of friends on June 24 that he would “see you next quarter”. Now it has “jumped the gun” again. Many institutions and experts in the industry have lost confidence in it, and although the new energy vehicle market is in full swing, the prospects for FF do not seem optimistic.
The “paper car” overlaid with financial deterioration
FF said in a regulatory announcement filed Monday that it will delay production of the FF 91 electric SUV in the U.S., with manufacturing scheduled to begin in the third or fourth quarter of this year, after the company had previously said it would go into production this month. for its part, FF said it needs to raise $325 million to produce the car and fund the business to sustain it through the end of this year, and that the company is in talks with potential investors.
FF sources made similar statements to Beijing Business News, saying, “Due to the previously disclosed delays caused by supply chain issues, we need additional funds to release the FF 91 and the SOP timeline has been affected. the SOP and the delivery of the first car are currently expected to be completed in the third or fourth quarter of this year, depending on funding arrangements and the resolution of supply chain issues “. The so-called SOP is a standard operating procedure, which is the mass production expected by the market.
In fact, as early as 2017, Faraday Future’s first car FF 91 has been launched, priced as high as 2 million yuan, its high-end route to earn market attention, but now nearly six years have passed FF is still stuck in the “paper car” stage.
While the mass production of cars is frequently rescheduled, Faraday Future’s financial situation has also deteriorated, with the financial report showing that FF’s net loss for 2020 will be US$147 million, and the net loss for 2021 will expand to US$517 million, with the increase in loss due to a “significant increase in operating expenses”. In the first quarter of this year, FF’s net loss reached $153 million due to increased engineering, design and testing services to advance the FF 91 project. As of March 31, 2022, the company’s accumulated losses have reached $3 billion and will continue to incur significant operating losses for the foreseeable future.
In fact, at the beginning of FF’s listing, the U.S. capital market had hopes for it, and FF was officially listed on NASDAQ in 2021 with a market value of $4.5 billion at that time.
Confidence is fading amidst questioning
Many institutions have lost confidence in FF’s behavior.
In October last year, J Capital Research, a short-selling agency in the US, released an assessment of FF. Through on-site research, analysis of the company’s financial data and technical capabilities, the agency said, “We think FF will never sell a car. So far, it is just a bucket to raise funds from US investors”. In response to this statement, Jia Yueting disliked the company in a high-profile circle of friends, saying that it was “hot and cold, nonsense” and that “July 2022, Hanford, California, the birth of a new species! See you on the day”. Now the July date has come and gone, and FF is unfortunately hit by short-selling agencies.
Shen Meng, chief strategist of Guangke Consulting, told Beijing Business News that “only a very few people still want to believe that Jia Yueting is serious about building cars, which is an important pillar for Jia to survive and keep scavenging his wealth.”
Shen Meng said that both Jia’s seven ecosystems created when he was in charge of LeTV and his personal bankruptcy in the United States are able to show the market that he is good at manipulating concepts and difficult to put into practice.
As for the FF side of the “potential investors” whether it is again a pavilion in the air? Industry experts believe that some well-known institutions did invest in FF, for example, FF had received $40 million investment from BNP Paribas Energy Transition Fund on behalf of BNP Paribas Asset Management; Palantir, an American data mining company, had invested $25 million in FF; Pioneer Pilot, a public fund, had bought 39,000 shares of FF and once became the fifth largest shareholder of FF.
However, for any large-scale investment institution, its funds will always be allocated to countless projects, including some projects that do not hold much hope, while some companies take this opportunity to “endorse” well-known institutions in order to harvest the next group of investors, but such a routine can not be repeated indefinitely after all.
Another expert analysis from the market point of view, that FF turnaround chances are slim, looking at the current new energy vehicle market, the United States has Tesla, China has “Wei Xiaoli”, and Europe has Chevrolet Voltlander, France Renault Zoe. The sales of new energy passenger cars in the narrow sense, such as plug-in, pure electric and fuel cell, amounted to 1.13 million units, up 95% year-on-year.
Liang Zhenpeng, a veteran industrial economist, said that for new energy vehicle manufacturers, regardless of domestic or foreign, brand size, as long as mass production is achieved and finished products are running on the road, there is an opportunity to achieve product iteration and upgrade. Those companies that only build cars in theory, want to grasp the ever-changing market environment is destined to be much more difficult.