Electric car start-up Lucid Group overtakes Ford in market value


Electric car start-up Lucid Group overtakes Ford in market value

Shares of the high-end electric car maker climbed on Tuesday, and the company is now valued at $ 89 billion

A Lucid Air is on display at a shopping mall in Scottsdale, Ariz. On September 27. (Photo: Reuters)

Lucid Group Inc. has become the latest electric vehicle startup to dominate the Ford Motor Co. auto icon by market value, another example of how investor enthusiasm is mounting for automakers avoiding gasoline. .

The share of Lucid, a maker of high-end electric cars, jumped nearly 24% on Tuesday to close at $ 55.52 per share, after its first financial results as a public company were released on Monday.

The rally pushed the company’s valuation to $ 89.3 billion, surpassing Ford’s for the first time since Lucid’s public market debut over the summer.

Lucid has also moved closer to General Motors Co., which at Tuesday’s close was worth around $ 91 billion.

Company executives presented an optimistic outlook for the start-up automaker during an analyst call on Monday, highlighting an increase in bookings for its first model, the Lucid Air, and considering increasing production at its plant. from Arizona.

The Newark, Calif.-Based startup reported a net loss of $ 524 million for the third quarter, in part due to higher costs associated with starting vehicle production in late September and increasing the number of ’employees for sales and service operations.

Lucid said he raised $ 4.4 billion through a reverse merger deal that made it public this summer and has enough cash to accelerate operations through 2022.

Also on Monday, the magazine for car enthusiasts MotorTrend presented Lucid Air with its prestigious Car of the Year award, saying it was the first time that an early model from a new automaker has received the honor.

Lucid’s rising market valuation comes as other auto startups emerge to challenge traditional automakers in the race to dominate the automotive future.

Rivian Automotive Inc., another new electric vehicle maker focused on trucks and SUVs, went public last week with a market value that quickly surpassed that of Ford and has since overtaken that of GM.

Valued at around $ 149 billion at Tuesday’s close, Rivian’s value has also surpassed that of German automaker Volkswagen AG.

A spokesperson said Ford’s strategic plan, presented in May, had positioned the company to become a leader in electric vehicles.

The company recently pledged $ 7 billion for three new battery plants, in Tennessee and Kentucky, as well as an electric pickup truck plant, part of a $ 30 billion investment in electric vehicles planned to date. ‘in 2025.

“Markets are efficient over time,” the spokesperson said. “We expect to create great value for customers and all of our stakeholders.”

Rivian raised a total of $ 13.7 billion with his bid, one of the largest for any U.S. public listing. Its stock continued to rise, up more than 120% from the IPO price of $ 78 as of Tuesday’s close.

Lucid chief executive Peter Rawlinson said the enthusiasm for Rivian’s debut was a big endorsement for some of the competing brands and the outlook for electric vehicles in general.

“A rising tide lifts all boats,” he said in an interview. “We can coexist very comfortably by sharing the market with Rivian. “

Under the leadership of chief executive Jim Farley, who took over last year, Ford has generated its own buzz about electric vehicles. Its Tesla Model Y competitor Mustang Mach-E electric SUV has received critical acclaim.

Ford has more than 160,000 non-binding orders for its F-150 Lightning electric pickup, scheduled to go on sale this spring.

Ford shares are also up, up about 125% this year, the seventh largest gain in the S&P 500, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

Still, many investors are betting on new startups like Lucid that focus solely on electric cars and have similarities to Tesla Inc., in the way they plan to enter the market.

Lucid was one of several budding electric car makers to go public in recent years, debuting in July after merging with a specialist acquisition company.

It started delivering its first Air sedans in October and plans to sell around 575 by the end of the year.

Revenue from the company’s first car sales will be reflected in Lucid’s year-end financial results, executives said.

On Monday, Lucid said it had more than 17,000 reservations for the new model, up from 13,000 previously disclosed. Those bookings represented an order book of about $ 1.3 billion, the company said.

Lucid executives said they are currently focusing on increasing production of the Lucid Air, a model seen by many in the industry as a direct competitor to Tesla.

It plans to introduce a second model, a battery-powered SUV called Gravity, at the end of 2023.

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