Lucid Falls Apart

The dumpster fire that is Lucid Group Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID) just got worse. The company’s largest shareholder and people who bought shares in the open market put $3 billion into the electric vehicle (EV) firm, and other common shareholders ran for cover. Lucid’s stock dropped 16% in a day and fell perilously close to its 52-week low of $6.09. The 52-week high is $21.78. It is rare for investors to take such a beating. (These 20 cars have been completely redesigned for 2023.)

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) made an investment that brought in $1.8 billion. The fund controls Lucid, owning just over 60% of the company’s shares. It is good that the PIF has a tremendous amount of money. The Lucid investment is a long shot.

Lucid has two significant problems. First, it charges $87,000 or more for its cars. One version sells for $249,000. It cannot reasonably claim these are any better than a car from Tesla, which mostly charges less for its vehicles. The other hurdle is that Lucid sells remarkably few of its vehicles. Lucid says it will produce only about 10,000 cars in 2023. Tesla sells that number in just two or three days.

Lucid’s most recent quarterly report showed that revenue was only $149 million. The company lost $780 million. Its unit sales will need to grow by the tens of thousands per year to break even financially.

The EV market is becoming more crowded by the day. Every major car company in the world has introduced, or is about to introduce, a lineup of EVs. Lucid sells only one model, which can be modified into four configurations. Its brand will be lost in an avalanche of new EVs.

Why the PIF would put so much money into Lucid is a mystery. Why this caused so many investors to dump the stock is not.

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