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Insider feedback regards the exec shuffling at Lucid

Grnr92663

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I talked to my cousin and his friends, who all work in engineering at Lucid. I asked them about the recent change at Lucid, and here's their take.

- The new exec team was brought in to address the bureaucracy, tribal mentality, and lack of ownership (when things didn't go right) at the Arizona plant.
- Peter Hoch had done a great job in setting up the initial line but struggled to handle multiple responsibilities (manufacture, operations, logistic, QA). Wasn't able to delegate, but in all fairness, didn't have enough savvy team to delegate. Also too soft to confront bureaucracy.
- Total lack of QA process. Worse, those who are responsible for making cars are also responsible for QA-ing them. The majority of those who handle QA & product validation came from the Tesla plant (most were middle management), and even a formerly low-level supervisor at Tesla was put in charge of QA & final OK. Needless to say, the QA standard at Tesla wasn't that high (but Tesla had a superior logistic & production line) and they carried that standard to Lucid (with a very basic production line & logistics). Hence disaster happened.
- The PMO was living in lala-land, thinking they could set up the true just-in-time-inventory, any config could just be dynamically scheduled to be blended in on the production line. While this is a common practice at big OEM, Lucid wasn't ready for it. The end result was a bunch of cars all missing parts here and there. Worse, both the suppliers and Lucid struggle with the production & assembly of parts & cars. Lack of space magnified the problem.
- Lack of coordination: many shutdowns happened to retool or to try out new idea (!!!) and config. The PMO while lacking real production experience, had too much power in regard to operations.
- Those who were in the production line were frustrated with direction from the PMO, QA, and manufacturing process, but their voice wasn't listened to.

The new exec didn't put up with a lot of these nonsense, and came with a lot of wounds from big & established car makers (where quality & logistics matter) - hence the practice & process they're putting in are much more realistic. Also, they're quite strong and would not put up with the bureaucracy & tribal mindset of the old team.

So far, things are working out better & moral at the plant are up. The production setup, inventory, and scheduling for car production are all improving quite significantly. Space remains issue for them, and they think once the new spaces are in operation, a lot of the issues in regard to inventory & logistics would be alleviated.
 

MoniputerLM

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This actually sounds reasonable and seems to explain a lot.
 

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I started my career in union relations in factory settings and went on to organizational design and executive development. The above story is right out of the text book of technology enterprises that are, by the nature of the product, necessarily engineering-focused at their inception and often led by engineers -- and then stumble for a while in transitioning from product design and engineering to manufacturing and service. It is at this transition point that the most complex operating issues emerge as strong engineers (who are often idiosyncratic thinkers operating in a world of technology limits rather than organizational imperatives) are called upon to focus on organization, process, and people management.

It was to be expected and, if the organization is to succeed long term, it must be addressed. It sounds as if Lucid's effort is already underway.
 

HC_79

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Interesting read. Good to see that it sounds like things are starting to get on track. I heard about a person who was on the Gravity project that management was a disaster with no clear direction on what to do so they ended up resigning as the stress and lack of clear direction wasn't worth it. They were saying at the time that there was no way the SUV was ever going to be launched on time and then in the next earnings call it was indeed confirmed it was delayed.

I really hope Lucid can get past these teething issues and really put pressure on the traditional automakers to up their game when it comes to EV's with efficiency and software integration. I would much rather see an ICE company fail than any of the new players including Tesla. It's time for the new kids on the block to show the old kids how to pivot and change things quickly vs. waiting years etc.
 

Grnr92663

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From what I'm told, Peter R was too focused in efficiency, technology, and marketing (and the glory of PR), being remoted & somewhat disconnected, also he trusted the words of his crew at the Arizona plant & PMO too much until he realized how severe the disaster was. The story of the team sticking with him & company when Lucid was in many near-death experiences (prior to getting funding from the PIF) also lead to him being too soft when goals & milestones keep missing targets.

Good thing is that he & Sherry eventually took drastic action - no longer asking people to change their mindset, but rather, to bring in people with a different mindset.

Funny thing is that those guys also have friends who work at Rivian, and also facing a similar problem. RJ "lives" at the Chicago plant, and witness the problem firsthand and took action. Things have also turned much better since replaced the ops exec at Rivian.
 

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as strong engineers (who are often idiosyncratic thinkers operating in a world of technology limits rather than organizational imperatives)
LOL, I am one of those engineers, but I like to think some of us are pretty good at getting from design to product, in my organization it was the "womb to tomb" mentally that had the engineering team practice DFM (design for mfg) and DFT (design for test) methodologies. By the way I hope you're enjoying my product everyday when you use your cellphone, stream Netflix, and use the internet to access this forum, besides keeping our armed service people safe. It is those satellites and the complex digital comm systems on them that enable everything high tech we use today. Even your Luci is always connected. :cool:
 

hmp10

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LOL, I am one of those engineers, but I like to think some of us are pretty good at getting from design to product, in my organization it was the "womb to tomb" mentally that had the engineering team practice DFM (design for mfg) and DFT (design for test) methodologies.

I hope you understand that my comment was a generalization, recognizing that individual engineers, as in any other discipline, cover a wide range of characteristics. Also, different organizations differ in the way they set themselves up to integrate efforts across disciplines. Yet that doesn't mean that a generalization is not grounded in reality when applied to a large group.

One of the more interesting cases was a large, multi-industry organization in which, as in most others, the only way to reward engineers with recognition and significantly higher salaries was to promote them into management positions, either within or outside of engineering. Unfortunately, this organization had a long history of rewarding its best engineers with promotions into management, which conferred more status and greater earnings than were available to individual contributors. In the process, they turned many great engineers into mediocre or even failed managers. To address this, the company implemented "parallel career paths" by which engineers could be given much more status and salaries while remaining engineers without the need to have or develop the very different skill set of managing people and inter-disciplinary conflict. It became possible -- and frequent -- in this company for engineers to attain pay and hierarchical status above the people who, on organization charts, were their managers -- all without having to write performance reviews, do salary planning, handle intra-office conflict, motivate employees, impose discipline . . . things which I found many engineers truly to abhor.

I have been watching Lucid for several years for indirect signals of what is going on behind the scenes there, such as following employee stories on GlassDoor.com, watching interviews and press materials (particularly with people at mid-levels of the organization which, unlike some companies, Lucid seemed to allow rather often), watching the fits and starts of production startup and early quality problems -- and the frequent information disconnects between Sales, Delivery, Production, and Engineering that so many on this forum have reported. These signals bore all the hallmarks of a superb engineering organization capable of groundbreaking technology advancement but struggling to bring a product to market -- much the same story reflected in the opening post on this thread.
 

Empty Nest

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One of the more interesting cases was a large, multi-industry organization in which, as in most others, the only way to reward engineers with recognition and significantly higher salaries was to promote them into management positions, either within or outside of engineering. Unfortunately, this organization had a long history of rewarding its best engineers with promotions into management, which conferred more status and greater earnings than were available to individual contributors. In the process, they turned many great engineers into mediocre or even failed managers. To address this, the company implemented "parallel career paths" by which engineers could be given much more status and salaries while remaining engineers without the need to have or develop the very different skill set of managing people and inter-disciplinary conflict. It became possible -- and frequent -- in this company for engineers to attain pay and hierarchical status above the people who, on organization charts, were their managers -- all without having to write performance reviews, do salary planning, handle intra-office conflict, motivate employees, impose discipline . . . things which I found many engineers truly to abhor.
I apologize, I was just giving you a hard time. I have personally experienced the exact situation you spell out above. Many of the managers in our organization were indeed engineers who became managers as that was the only career path up. As of today, that is still the case unfortunately, and it results in exactly as you state, a bunch of bad managers whose people skills leave a lot to be desired. The company seems to value the management much more than the individual engineering talent that innovates these advanced products, and rewards them with large bonuses while the engineering staff is left with only base pay. I learned early in my career that unless your staff feels empowered, their voices heard, and most importantly treated with integrity and fairness, you will never succeed. So I really do resonate with your comments entirely, they are right on point.

I had my telecon today with what was supposed to be the manager of Customer Care and the manager of Roadside Assistance. Well it turns out there is churn there as well, I got to speak with one manager and from the best I could figure out she was leaving one manager role and assuming the customer care manager role. I will provide a synopsis of that telecon in another post later, but I can say I left it feeling less than satisfied. Lots of well rehearsed party line language but not much true understanding of the actual issues. Not to mention she was an hour and a half late.
 

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Everytime someone posts some doomy “well I guess that’s it for Lucid, they’re over and don’t know what they’re doing” crap, I’m relieved to see this forum is still full of educated professional members who actually know what they’re talking about. Thanks @hmp10 and @Empty Nest
 

changinator

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I talked to my cousin and his friends, who all work in engineering at Lucid. I asked them about the recent change at Lucid, and here's their take.

- The new exec team was brought in to address the bureaucracy, tribal mentality, and lack of ownership (when things didn't go right) at the Arizona plant.
- Peter Hoch had done a great job in setting up the initial line but struggled to handle multiple responsibilities (manufacture, operations, logistic, QA). Wasn't able to delegate, but in all fairness, didn't have enough savvy team to delegate. Also too soft to confront bureaucracy.
- Total lack of QA process. Worse, those who are responsible for making cars are also responsible for QA-ing them. The majority of those who handle QA & product validation came from the Tesla plant (most were middle management), and even a formerly low-level supervisor at Tesla was put in charge of QA & final OK. Needless to say, the QA standard at Tesla wasn't that high (but Tesla had a superior logistic & production line) and they carried that standard to Lucid (with a very basic production line & logistics). Hence disaster happened.
- The PMO was living in lala-land, thinking they could set up the true just-in-time-inventory, any config could just be dynamically scheduled to be blended in on the production line. While this is a common practice at big OEM, Lucid wasn't ready for it. The end result was a bunch of cars all missing parts here and there. Worse, both the suppliers and Lucid struggle with the production & assembly of parts & cars. Lack of space magnified the problem.
- Lack of coordination: many shutdowns happened to retool or to try out new idea (!!!) and config. The PMO while lacking real production experience, had too much power in regard to operations.
- Those who were in the production line were frustrated with direction from the PMO, QA, and manufacturing process, but their voice wasn't listened to.

The new exec didn't put up with a lot of these nonsense, and came with a lot of wounds from big & established car makers (where quality & logistics matter) - hence the practice & process they're putting in are much more realistic. Also, they're quite strong and would not put up with the bureaucracy & tribal mindset of the old team.

So far, things are working out better & moral at the plant are up. The production setup, inventory, and scheduling for car production are all improving quite significantly. Space remains issue for them, and they think once the new spaces are in operation, a lot of the issues in regard to inventory & logistics would be alleviated.
I love you and your insider info 😌
 

Grnr92663

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I posted this into the other thread, but perhaps it fits better here

============

From what I'm told, just in a few weeks since his arrival, Steve has been able to make a huge difference and addressed many of the challenges on the production lines. Basically squashing tribal warfare & tunnel mindset helped to unclog a lot of obstacles - they finally got Autosar running (what is it??).

The run rate is 30-40 cars/day now (compared to 5-15 as off last quarter), they could crank up as much as 50-60. The biggest challenge they're facing now is space & distribution logistics. The Arizona plants and most delivery centers are full of cars, and pretty much run out of space. ZERO space is available at the Arizona plant, and everyone is so looking fwd to the plant expansion being completed & put into usage.

Both morale and production capability at the plant see a huge jump lately. Not everyone is happy (especially those who moved up largely based on association with their old bosses who're gone), but line workers are much happier.

Having Peter R at the plant lot of time (instead of on rare occasions as before) also helps a lot. He's a good listener.

Btw, nothing I'm told from Lucid engineer is the company's trade secret. This is generic news. But it's good news.

Btw, the tool line was set up for the solid roof - so yes, P/T will definitely come this year.
 

Maverick

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I'd agree with that as I'm sitting here at the Scottsdale SC for a tire change and there are about 20 new GTs waiting. Good to see them cranking them out but space is definitely at a premium.
 

PCorkett

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I posted this into the other thread, but perhaps it fits better here

============

From what I'm told, just in a few weeks since his arrival, Steve has been able to make a huge difference and addressed many of the challenges on the production lines. Basically squashing tribal warfare & tunnel mindset helped to unclog a lot of obstacles - they finally got Autosar running (what is it??).

The run rate is 30-40 cars/day now (compared to 5-15 as off last quarter), they could crank up as much as 50-60. The biggest challenge they're facing now is space & distribution logistics. The Arizona plants and most delivery centers are full of cars, and pretty much run out of space. ZERO space is available at the Arizona plant, and everyone is so looking fwd to the plant expansion being completed & put into usage.

Both morale and production capability at the plant see a huge jump lately. Not everyone is happy (especially those who moved up largely based on association with their old bosses who're gone), but line workers are much happier.

Having Peter R at the plant lot of time (instead of on rare occasions as before) also helps a lot. He's a good listener.

Btw, nothing I'm told from Lucid engineer is the company's trade secret. This is generic news. But it's good news.

Btw, the tool line was set up for the solid roof - so yes, P/T will definitely come this year.
Here’s how Wikipedia defines Autosar:

“AUTOSAR provides specifications of basic software modules, defines application interfaces and builds a common development methodology based on standardized exchange format. Basic software modules made available by the AUTOSAR layered software architecture can be used in vehicles of different manufacturers and electronic components of different suppliers, thereby reducing expenditures for research and development.[6]
 

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Here is ”E for Electric” You-tuber’s latest take on the situation as of today’s post (9/11/22): “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
. Yet the lot on Bear’s latest flyovers seems to show more cars ready for the car haulers. Any clear sense of whether the leadership changes will cause a significant disruption in production?
 

hmp10

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Here is ”E for Electric” You-tuber’s latest take on the situation as of today’s post (9/11/22): “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
. Yet the lot on Bear’s latest flyovers seems to show more cars ready for the car haulers. Any clear sense of whether the leadership changes will cause a significant disruption in production?

Alex Guberman's "E for Electric" is struggling for relevance against more serious auto channels such as "InsideEVs", "Transport Evolved", "Edmunds", "CNET", "Endgadget", "Throttle House", etc. His channel is in the process of trying to rebrand itself from straightforward coverage of the EV industry into the go-to place for the "real truth" behind what you're being told by the industry and by other media. He's not quite the muck-raking shill that Warren Redlich is, but he's turned down that path of late.

P. S. This is a general observation about the recent trajectory of the channel. I didn't watch the video, and thus I can't argue it's wrong in this particular case regarding Lucid production.
 

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Going off of this post, plus pics from the GT Ordering thread of the Service Centers being full of cars.. it seems like PDI is currently their choke point? What else would hold up delivery of cars that is keeping their lots full?
 

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Going off of this post, plus pics from the GT Ordering thread of the Service Centers being full of cars.. it seems like PDI is currently their choke point? What else would hold up delivery of cars that is keeping their lots full?
Customers picking up cars
 
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From what I'm told, Peter R was too focused in efficiency, technology, and marketing (and the glory of PR), being remoted & somewhat disconnected, also he trusted the words of his crew at the Arizona plant & PMO too much until he realized how severe the disaster was.

Good thing is that he & Sherry eventually took drastic action - no longer asking people to change their mindset, but rather, to bring in people with a different mindset.

Funny thing is that those guys also have friends who work at Rivian, and also facing a similar problem. RJ "lives" at the Chicago plant, and witness the problem firsthand and took action. Things have also turned much better since replaced the ops exec at Rivian.
 
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