Lucid Air production plummeted in Q3

Lucid Motors initially planned to build 10,000 cars in fiscal year 2023, but early Q3 2023 data published by Lucid today would seem to put that figure in serious jeopardy — if not make it an outright impossibility.

Lucid produced 1,550 cars during Q3 2023, a huge 28.7% drop from the 2,173 cars it produced in the previous quarter. Meanwhile, the company delivered 1,457 cars, a very slight increase over the 1,404 it delivered in Q2 — but that means it’s still accumulating costly inventory. Financial results for Q3 2023 won’t be available until November 7.

With today’s figures, Lucid is nearly 4,000 cars short of its 10,000 unit goal for FY 2023, a number it seems extremely unlikely to make up with Q4 production alone. Lucid’s press release makes no mention of that 10,000 unit figure. This probably shouldn’t be taken as a great sign of its ongoing commitment to those statements.

Lucid has had a tough time moving vehicles — while the Air sedan has received a high degree of praise from the automotive press for its design, execution, and performance, it’s a very expensive car. And with the US consumer economy in a shaky state, luxury purchases like high-end EVs are probably getting put off by a large number of would-be buyers.

Lucid notes in its release that 700 in-progress Airs are on the way to Saudi Arabia for final assembly, suggesting that its Q4 delivery numbers could be aided by international sales. Lucid announced it was now eligible for Saudi economic incentives as part of a special economic zone initiative last month.

Here’s Lucid’s release on the figures.

NEWARK, Calif., Oct. 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Lucid Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LCID), setting new standards for luxury electric experience with the Lucid Air, winner of the 2023 World Luxury Car Award, today announced production and delivery totals for the quarter ended September 30, 2023. Lucid produced 1,550 vehicles during Q3, plus over 700 additional vehicles in transit to Saudi Arabia for final assembly. The company delivered 1,457 vehicles during the same period.*  

Lucid motors

Electrek’s Take

This is not good news for Lucid Motors. Everyone in the space knows that the company is struggling to sell through stock, and even with drastically lowered Q3 production, it’s still net-positive on its total vehicle inventory. Sitting on cars is an expensive problem to have, and one that compounds when consumers sense there’s something keeping those cars available — often, something they perceive as undesirable.

Lucid may not be catching any breaks from larger economic headwinds, but its decision to launch its brand on a sedan platform in SUV-crazy America is probably the bigger strategic miss overall. It’s hard to imagine Lucid would be in this position if it was selling a 5- or 7-seat luxury crossover. The company’s Gravity SUV is set to arrive in 2024, and it can’t come soon enough.

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