Hi all, Live in Portland Oregon. Own a 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo. I would like to order a Dream Edition. Wondering when a studio will open up nearby. I know Seattle will have one, but that is still a 3+ hour drive each way.
Ben Sullins just posted a very interesting interview with Peter Rawlinson in which Rawlinson gives the most detailed update I've seen on exactly where they are on the start-of-production curve. He also gives a very candid assessment of where Lucid is on ADAS. Really Rawlinson's best interview to date in my view:
One of the most heartening parts of the discussion for Dream Edition buyers is just how slowly they're going to ramp up early production to ensure quality. Rawlinson says they're going to start the factory production line building only 1 to 2 customer cars per day and ramp up slowly, building only 247 cars in the first six weeks of full factory production.
EV Source just posted another interview with Peter Rawlinson that revealed the production schedule in more detail than we've seen anywhere else:
The highlights of the production timeline:
- Lucid has "many thousands" of deposits on cars (but no breakdown given for which versions of the car)
- they are in the final stages of building out the beta fleet of 80 cars
- these beta cars are still generating information that is being processed by the engineering team . . . while there are few changes afoot at this point that a buyer would readily notice, there are "hundreds" of Engineering Requests in queue to be integrated into production plans by both the Lucid production team and suppliers
- they are currently doing "TTO" (tool tryout) in the Casa Grande factory, whereby production parts are being fed to robots to calibrate and fine tune robotic motion
- the paint shop will be commissioned on November 20, and painted bodies will start coming off the line to be used in the next step, which is . . .
- "RC" (release candidate, i.e., final production prototype) cars will start building in late November / early December
- "SOP" (start of production of customer cars) will begin in late February / early March 2021
Autoline Network posted a livestream on November 5 featuring Peter Rawlinson and Derek Jenkins. The stream included further details about the Casa Grande factory. The discussion about the factory (with good video footage) begins at the 32:20 mark:
- The pilot line that was set up in September has now finished production of the last 18 beta cars.
- TTO (Tool Try Out) is now underway, with robotic motions being calibrated using production parts.
- The Paint Shop is coming on line as scheduled at the end of this month.
- Toward year end, production will start on 100 "pre-production" cars. These cars will be made available to the press in early 2021. However, it was not stated for what purpose, i. e., whether the press will be able actually to drive or test those cars.
I think it's going to be a mixed bag. There are already cars on display at the West Coast Design Studios that have already opened. Miami and West Palm Beach are opening near year end, about the time the 100 "pre-production cars" go into production. As Lucid has said it will not open a Studio without cars on hand, the Florida cars will probably be pre-"pre-production" versions.
Lucid Sales has told me in recent days that there are still a lot of design and engineering features in flux, and cars that are showing up on the show and studio circuits are moving along a continuum toward becoming production-representative, but none yet are.
For instance, the Zenith Red car at the Manhattan Classic Auto Club press event a couple of weeks ago was reviewed in more detail just a few days ago by Kyle Conner of InsideEVs. Conner sat in the back seat and commented on the nicely-recessed rear footwells that he said put his knees in a noticeably lower position than the EV (brand not specified) in which he rode to the event. That Zenith Red car was billed as a Grand Touring model, and Conner specifically mentioned it was the model with the 517-mile range -- meaning it should have the larger battery pack that puts modules in the rear footwells.
I have contacted both Conner and Lucid Sales to ask for confirmation whether that car, in fact, had the larger battery pack in it. Some show cars, including even the white Dream Edition at the September launch, were built either with the smaller battery pack or no pack at all, as the rear floorboard was not recessed in the white car. Conner has not responded, and Lucid Sales says they do not know.
I'd take the salesperson's statement that there are still a lot of design and engineering decisions in flux with a grain of salt. If Lucid is doing their TTO already, it means that the car design is finalized, TTO makes no sense otherwise. It's simply too late to introduce any significant design changes at this point. Casa Grande is Lucid's assembly facility. They must have hundreds of Tier 1-3 companies in the supply chain. Any design change at that point will sent ripples down the supply chain, which will inevitably lead to delays lasting months.
I had thought the same thing for a while, especially as I read some time ago that Lucid had rented warehouses in Casa Grande to stockpile production components that were coming in from vendors.
Lucid Sales has told me that the cars that will be sent to the Miami Design Studio at year end will be "marketing cars" and not necessarily fully representative of production cars. I have specifically sought assurance that the cars sent to Miami will have the larger battery pack that will be standard in the Dream and Grand Touring versions so that I could check out the back seating position. Lucid refused to give that assurance, repeating that the cars will not be production-representative, and they were not sure if the rear interior would be the final version.
InsideEVs said that the Grand Touring car that was at the Manhattan show two weeks ago still did not have production front seats in it. In a video interview with Derek Jenkins two weeks earlier, he said that things such as the detents on the steering wheel roller switches were not yet finalized.
I sought assurance a week ago from my sales rep that the rear bench seat would have a fold-down armrest and asked for a picture of it. I was told that the final car would have the armrest, but they could not send me a picture as its final design was still up in the air, and none of the show cars thus far had the armrest.
In short, there appears to be a lot of details -- some minor and some not -- that are still up in the air.
I guess we'll have to wait and see but I wouldn't put the changes in the seat armrests and the switch detents in the same category as the changes in the chassis or unibody that would definitely be needed if they decide to change the footwell depth. You may not need to retrain the robots for the former as long as the mechanical assembly design interface is the same but that will not be the case with the latter.
All that said, I'm not an insider and I might be totally wrong!
Lucid has already said they will not or cannot relocate the battery modules from under the rear floorboard. However, they have been trying to find some sort of work-around for the knee height issue that some reviewers have mentioned. Whether that might be altering the height of the rear seat cushion, changing its rake, trying to cup out the lower rear of the front seats for more forward foot room, or something else, I don't know. I do know that, as of a few weeks ago, there were several proposals being bandied about in Engineering.
I don't think the Casa Grande factory robots come much into play on many of these issues. I'd guess that things such as roller detents, armrests, and seat designs will be handled in the supplier chain -- although suppliers will need some of the rapidly-diminishing lead time to effect any changes, too.