Electric vehicle hopeful Faraday Future has had no shortage of drama—from alleged securities law violations to boardroom shake-ups—on its long and circuitous path to actually producing a car. And though the Gardena-based company looked to have turned a corner by recently announcing plans to launch its first vehicle later this year, Faraday’s quarterly earnings report this week revealed that demand for that car has underwhelmed—to say the least.
Among the business updates and organizational changes disclosed in its first-quarter earnings release on Monday, the company tucked in one startling number: 401. That’s the number of paid pre-orders that Faraday said it had received for its first production vehicle, the FF 91, as of March 31.
The paltry number is especially interesting given the context of the automaker’s rocky history. Earlier this year, the publicly traded company found itself in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is now investigating allegedly inaccurate and misleading statements made by Faraday to investors. Those statements, according to an internal review by the company, include misrepresenting how many pre-orders it had received for the FF 91: Originally, Faraday reported more than 14,000 reservations on its books, but it later emerged that an overwhelming bulk of those pre-orders were unpaid—with only a few hundred actual, paid deposits on the vehicles. (What’s more, nearly 80% of those pre-orders were allegedly from a single, undisclosed company that may have been an affiliate of Faraday’s, according to a blistering report by short-selling firm J Capital.)
Faraday’s earnings report also highlighted first-quarter developments including leadership moves, production partnerships and its unveiling of the first production-intent FF 91. The company noted that it had received a dealer and distributor license from the state of California that should allow Faraday to sell vehicles online anywhere in the U.S. It also signed a lease for a showroom in Beverly Hills, and is currently on the search for a second such location in the U.S. Additionally, Faraday Future’s second car, the FF 81, will be produced in South Korea in partnership with auto manufacturer Myoung Shin, with production slated to begin in 2024.
In terms of financials, Faraday reported an operating loss of approximately $149 million in the first quarter—up from a loss of $19 million in the same period last year. The company has $706 million in total assets on its balance sheet, including $276 million in cash. Faraday’s stock closed Wednesday’s trading at $3 per share—down roughly 50% since the start of this year.
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