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Lucid Air Production Delay

Lucken

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It will be very interesting to see how well this approach works. What percentage of preorders will be converted to sales without having seen or driven the car? This is not just a new car, but a new car company (excluding their heritage in other aspects of automotive involvement).

I’m certain you’re not alone in your risk tolerance, but I’m equally certain some will either drop out or attempt to delay the finalization of their orders until a tester is available. Lucid needs to be accommodating to these prospective customers at this point in their developmental curve.
 

hmp10

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I suspect more potential Lucid buyers will share your view rather than mine, and I remain surprised that Lucid hasn't put more priority on getting a few cars prepared for customer test drives or at least into the hands of independent auto journalists by now.

For my part, I put crucial reliance on the reputation of the senior people involved in the design and production of the Air. Peter Rawlinson, Erich Bach, Derek Jenkins, and Peter Hochholdinger have been career-long auto buffs who rose through the ranks of some of the world's best car companies. They surely all know a well-engineered, well-built, and comfortable car when they drive one. They also surely understand that, if they have not produced such a car with the Lucid, their reputations -- as well as the considerable wealth they each stand to gain from a successful launch of Lucid -- are at serious risk.

Of all the EV startups -- Tesla, Rivian, Fisker, et al. -- I think Lucid is the safest bet of all in terms of the collective expertise across all the critical engineering and design functions in terms of risking purchase of a car without personal experience of it.

I understand that, even among well-built and -engineered cars, a buyer might like the chassis calibration choices, the drivetrain tuning, the seating position, the look and interior vibe, the options list of one car over another. However, these are more relevant when shopping among a wide array of choices.

Unfortunately, we're still at the stage of EV evolution when the array of choices are very narrow. If you want a roomy, high-performing luxury EV sedan right now, you're choices come down to relatively few vehicles. When you factor in truly long range combined with truly blazing performance, your choices come down to two: the Lucid Air and the Tesla Model S. And that's only if you consider the Model S a luxury vehicle (which I don't).
 

Lucken

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Speaking of delays, I spoke with Lucid today regarding the fourth quarter opening of the Long Island studio. I was told it was quite possible the opening would be delayed until 2022. Why? COVID, of course.

The beat goes on.
 

hmp10

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I got a call yesterday from Lucid Sales. Although they asked me a lot of questions about what I liked and didn't like about the car, the real purpose seemed to be to find out whether I was intending to turn my Dream Edition reservation into a confirmed order. I assured them I was.

The recent email from Lucid to Dream Edition reservation holders has ignited speculation on the internet that Lucid will start shipping cars in September. I did not read the email that way. First, it did not ask recipients to confirm their orders, as was widely and falsely reported. It told them to prepare to configure their order when they are contacted "over the next few weeks" to be walked through the ordering process. As we are already over halfway through the third quarter, I take this to mean that deliveries will not start until the fourth quarter.

The sales rep yesterday told me I was near the front of the reservation queue and would be among the early deliveries. However, he discussed nothing about the ordering process with me. When I told him I was surmising no deliveries before the fourth quarter, he agreed and said they would be "later in the year".

I asked him about the recent communication that the website would soon be updated with new configuration and performance information, but he said Sales had been given no details yet.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . we're taking delivery at midday today on our new Tesla Model S Plaid.
 

Lucken

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Thanks for the update. Although I don’t believe it will happen, it wouldn’t totally surprise me if deliveries slipped into quarter 1 of 2022.

Best of luck on your new MS. Let us know your initial observations.
 

hmp10

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. . . it wouldn’t totally surprise me if deliveries slipped into quarter 1 of 2022.
My guess is they're going to move heaven and earth to start shipments in 2021. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see some Dream Edition deliveries slip into 2022.

I'm really getting impatient, but after watching a deluge of YouTube videos by people who are seeing significant quality bugaboos with their new Tesla Model S's, I understand Lucid's decision to take the public flak for delays instead of more-lasting flak for poor quality.
 

Lucken

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My guess is they're going to move heaven and earth to start shipments in 2021. However, I wouldn't be surprised to see some Dream Edition deliveries slip into 2022.

I'm really getting impatient, but after watching a deluge of YouTube videos by people who are seeing significant quality bugaboos with their new Tesla Model S's, I understand Lucid's decision to take the public flak for delays instead of more-lasting flak for poor quality.
I was watching one of those this morning. The owner had warped interior trim pieces, paint issues and body panel alignment problems. He also had issues with design decisions like turn signal touch pads rather than stalks & a horn button in lieu of the typical center, pressure-sensitive pad, location. With that said, he still loved the car.

Sometimes it appears Tesla just wants to be different for the sake of being different rather than more functional.
 

hmp10

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"Motor Trend" just posted two videos from the four days they spent driving a Rivian R1T pickup (and they loved it).

I'm wondering why we've seen no similar videos from Jonny Lieberman's two days in the Lucid Air. (I know about the brief interior video on Instagram, but for some reason only the first 3 seconds will play before the video freezes. I've tried several times, using both the link provided on this site and by going directly to Instagram. I've also tried playing it using a different browser. Bummer.)

Also, we're two weeks past Lieberman's test drive and one week past the public revelation that there will be two variants of the Dream Edition. Yet, aside from a link to a page about the two variants, the Lucid website proper is still posting the specs of the original Dream Edition and has not yet updated its configurator to reflect the choice of variant that presumably has to be made before cars can enter production.

I take all of this to mean that deliveries won't commence until the 4th quarter . . . and perhaps well into it.
 

Lucken

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I don’t think I ever expected them to deliver anything prior to the 4th quarter. It wouldn’t surprise me if all this slipped to quarter 1 of 2022. Hey, you can always blame it on Covid. That seems to work for almost every company. Color me cynical.
 

hmp10

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I have a feeling that Rawlinson will move heaven and earth to get at least a few cars into customer hands by the end of the year, but I'm not at all certain all Dream Editions will be delivered by then. It's awfully late in the game to be branching into two versions of the car as well as changing some of the front suspension hardware.

However, I would still prefer delays to get everything right over what Tesla -- as usual -- did in rushing the Model S Plaid into production even though it, too, was delayed several months beyond the initially announced date. We are enjoying the new Plaid, but the front end goes dangerously light under hard acceleration, apparently due to too much rearward weight transfer. Tesla just started rolling software updates to recalibrate the suspension. And the active noise cancellation they promised is only going to come with a future update . . . if at all. We're taking the car to the Service Center on Friday to deal with a loose driver side rear view mirror and with the steering yoke's making a scuffing noise when turning.
 

Adnillien

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Something will need to be running for "Production" week September 27. It may still be production validation cars but I expect/hope it will be customer cars. In any case some volume has to be running or there will not be much to see.

I am trying to rectify this with the split Dream edition hardware. My first thought on the split was software but I am having second thoughts on that. If it was just software, there would be no need to have two cars. Smooth mode would equal 500 mile range and Sprint mode would beat Tesla Plaid in horsepower. The Dream edition has always offered both 19" range wheels and 21" performance wheels. Hence, something more is at play here than software and wheel size. The second question is, how does Lucid have enough hardware for 577 Dream editions when nobody knows how customers will split between range and performance? We are 4 weeks from "Production" week and Dream buyers have not finalized their range/performance choice. My conclusion is that the Dream range version must share some hardware with the GT and this was needed for Lucid to achieve 500 mile range with the Dream. Based on the rivalry between Elon and Peter, I think Peter will do anything to beat 500 miles of range and beat the horsepower of the Tesla Plaid.
 

Lucken

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I have a feeling that Rawlinson will move heaven and earth to get at least a few cars into customer hands by the end of the year, but I'm not at all certain all Dream Editions will be delivered by then. It's awfully late in the game to be branching into two versions of the car as well as changing some of the front suspension hardware.

However, I would still prefer delays to get everything right over what Tesla -- as usual -- did in rushing the Model S Plaid into production even though it, too, was delayed several months beyond the initially announced date. We are enjoying the new Plaid, but the front end goes dangerously light under hard acceleration, apparently due to too much rearward weight transfer. Tesla just started rolling software updates to recalibrate the suspension. And the active noise cancellation they promised is only going to come with a future update . . . if at all. We're taking the car to the Service Center on Friday to deal with a loose driver side rear view mirror and with the steering yoke's making a scuffing noise when turning.
Perhaps, but that would be somewhat disingenuous and more a token move to slip a few cars under an arbitrary deadline. It’s not indicative of a true ramp up of finalized production vehicles.

With that said, I am absolutely onboard with your preference to have them get it right out of the gate rather than take the Elon ‘customer beta vehicle’ approach.
 

hmp10

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I am trying to rectify this with the split Dream edition hardware. My first thought on the split was software but I am having second thoughts on that. If it was just software, there would be no need to have two cars.
it's just my speculation, but here is a post I put up on another thread on this topic of different hardware:

"I've been thinking about the comment about hardware differences between the P and R versions. When I talked with Zak Edson, Lucid's head of retail operations, he told me the Dream Edition was going to use special metallurgy in its rear motor that bumped its output up over the motor that was going to be used in the front and across the rest of the model lineup. However, he told me that special metallurgy only added about 15 horsepower but was more relevant to the torque.

"I doubt if Lucid is doing major hardware engineering at this point. I'm wondering if they are differentiating the P and the R by using that special metallurgy motor at both ends of the P and using either the original mixed-motor configuration or the two standard motors in the R.

"While a 15 hp difference more or less on either axle wouldn't equate to the 178 hp difference between the P and the R, that could probably be manipulated by software tuning. (Tesla has used software to create wider power differences than that between its versions of cars that have the same motors.) Lieberman said the P and the R will have the same torque at each of the three drive settings (670, 738, and 885 lb-ft) . . . but the P will have 1,025 lb-ft in launch control mode. Given that torque numbers get the biggest boost from the special metallurgy, I'm wondering if that's the hardware difference between the P and the R."
 

hmp10

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Perhaps, but that would be somewhat disingenuous and more a token move to slip a few cars under an arbitrary deadline.
Can't say I disagree, and I hope I'm wrong in my suspicion.

In an interview some time ago, Rawlinson said initial production would start at 10 cars per day and ramp up from there as they vetted the assembly processes. It was not clear, however, whether he was referring to the production rate during the quality validation production or at the start of customer production. I heard elsewhere that they were already testing the production line to ascertain the maximum run rate of which the line was capable. I don't remember the source, but I don't think it was someone inside Lucid, so I have no idea of the reliability of that tidbit.

Assuming Rawlinson's number of 10 cars per day for the production run and that the line stayed at that rate for the duration of the Dream Edition run, that would mean they could get the whole Dream Edition run off the line in 50 days -- or about two and a half months of standard work weeks. If the speculation is true that deliveries will start in October, that could mean the whole Dream Edition run would be done by year end, even assuming the slowest production rate throughout.

What perplexes me is why Lucid is not yet contacting Dream Edition reservation holders to confirm their final version and color choices if customer production is just weeks away. I've been contacted recently to ask my views about some things, but I was not asked to confirm my order, nor have any other Dream reservation holders that are posting on other forums. Also, the Lucid website is still showing the specs for the original Dream Edition, and the order configurator has not yet been updated to include choice of version.

Lucid already knows how many Santa Monica interiors they will need, as all Dream Editions will have that interior. The Dream Edition will have a unique 21" forged wheel option that not everyone will choose, but they're probably going to have to stockpile extras to cover future replacements, so that's probably not an issue. But they do need to know how many exterior panels to paint in Eureka Gold. And, if I'm right in my suspicion that the special metallurgy motors are part of the "R" vs. "P" differentiation, then they're going to need to know how many special metallurgy motors to produce -- unless, again, they're going to have to stockpile extras, anyway, to cover future replacements.
 

Lucken

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What perplexes me is why Lucid is not yet contacting Dream Edition reservation holders to confirm their final version and color choices if customer production is just weeks away. I've been contacted recently to ask my views about some things, but I was not asked to confirm my order, nor have any other Dream reservation holders that are posting on other forums. Also, the Lucid website is still showing the specs for the original Dream Edition, and the order configurator has not yet been updated to include choice of version.
I think you actually answered your own question. Hint: Customer production is probably not 'weeks away'. ;)
 

hmp10

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Yep. That's why I think it's possible that Lucid will try to get some Dreams out the door by year end, hoping to minimize the amount of egg on the face, but maybe not the whole run.

Rawlinson did recently say Lucid was "on track" with its production schedule which was publicly stated to be 577 cars by year end, i.e., the whole Dream Edition run. But it's a story with a bad ending we've heard in the past few months from Rivian, Tesla, Nissan, Ford, Mercedes . . . .

I have several friends who have ordered EV's this year, and the only one who received his car on the promised date was the one who bought a VW ID.4. That one actually arrived a couple of weeks earlier than expected. A Rivian, a Mach-E, a Tesla, and a Hyundai have all been delayed.
 

Lucken

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If you ever test drove an ID.4, you'd know why he's getting it on time. ;)

We test drove that car several months ago and were wholly unimpressed. Other than an incredibly tight turning radius (we drove the RWD iteration), it was not something we'd care to spend much time in.
 

hmp10

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That's interesting. I've driven his ID.4 (the single motor version) and found it a bit underpowered for my tastes. However, I found the interior ergonomics, room, and front and rear seating comfort to be among the best I've found in a car. I also particularly liked the motorized shade on the full glass roof and wish Rivian and Tesla would do the same. And the fit and finish was excellent.

It's not in the price class of cars I normally drive, but at its price point I thought it a very good car.
 

Lucken

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It's interesting how different perspectives can be. Our overall impression was that the interior design looked to be almost 'toyish'. We also found it a bit on the noisy side.

I seem to recall reading that they're having trouble attaining the sales volume they thought they'd have.
 

hmp10

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The ID.4 constituted 4.8% of VW U.S. sales in Q2, which most analysts think pretty good. I suspect a lot of people who might be interested in the car are waiting for the dual-motor version later this year, as the relatively slow acceleration times for the single-motor have been noted by many reviewers. We liked our friend's car so much that we momentarily considered adding one to our garage for local runabouts with friends due to its remarkably comfortable rear seating for us silver crests, but I insisted on waiting for the dual-motor.

Of course, that became moot when I got frustrated with the additional delay on the Rivian R1S and we decided almost on the spur of the moment to get the Model S Plaid instead as our second EV.

All this bouncing around might not make any sense from some perspectives, but I'm in a mood right now to sample as many different types of EVs as I can while I can, even if I trade some of them away in fairly short order. After years of waiting for the choice to expand beyond Nissan Leafs and Teslas, I'm now like a kid waiting impatiently for the candy store to open.
 
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