Tesla Motors Inc rival Faraday Future, which was also once considered a “Tesla-Killer,” was getting a second chance to get things right. The CES in Las Vegas early this month was a chance for the Los Angeles-based Faraday Future to prove to the world that it is for real, but it largely flopped.
Faraday Future is no match for Tesla – at least for now
At CES 2016, after its first appearance, more questions were raised than answered regarding Faraday Future. The startup company revealed a sleek autonomous prototype, but the car turned out to be an inoperable one-seat race vehicle that the carmaker might never make. It was hardly a challenge for the increasing fleet of Tesla Motors Inc electric cars, notes Business Insider.
So, the car maker needed to show that it could produce an actual car after having poached talent from Detroit and Silicon Valley, and hiring around 1,400 employees and after almost three years of its founding in 2017. “Instead, its second attempt has been largely deemed a flop,” says BI.
Faraday does have vehicles that can drive, but it struggled to prove that on the stage of CES. BI interviewed eight people with intimate knowledge of business of Faraday Future to learn about the state affairs leading up to the CES presentation. The executive spoke to BI on a condition that their name or post is not disclosed.
The sources said the business is in shambles with more than six senior executives departing since last spring, including the global CEO, who left the company just before CES. Cash shortage is the main problem of the car maker, as per the insiders. Former and current Faraday insiders describe the millions of dollars in unpaid bills and a rowdy corporate structure between the Chinese and U.S. operations of Faraday Future.
One source close to the matter told BI that if CES does not bring in fresh investors, it is over between February and May.
Corporate structure – a mystery
Jia Yueting is the first known investor of Faraday, and he is also the CEO of China-based electronics firm LeEco. In 2014, Faraday was started by two people Nick Sampson and Jia. Simpson – a former Tesla Motors Inc executive – is the current senior VP of research, development, and engineering of Faraday. Since the 2016 CES, it was uncertain who was running the car maker. The company did not reveal who its other investors were, or who the CEO was, aside from Jia.
There have been at least two “CEOs of record,” people who had the ability to sign financial documents for the automaker, sources told BI. The first was Chaoying Deng, who was an executive from a LeEco subsidiary and held that role till October 2015. The second was David Wisnieski, who was the director of finance of Faraday Future.
The document available publicly from the state of Nevada list Wisnieski as secretary, director, treasurer and president of “Faraday & Future Inc.” (the legal name of the automaker). But, he left in July 2016.