Four years after Ford reportedly considered buying Lucid Motors, the EV startup is now worth more than the Detroit automaker. Lucid Motors’ market value surpassed Fords on Tuesday, a day after the startup reported its first-quarter results as a listed company and just a few weeks after it began shipping its luxury electric sedan, Air.
Lucid Motors has a relatively long history for an EV startup when it was founded in 2007 as a battery company called Atieva. But after a pivot in 2016 to make an electric sedan, Lucid Motors found that they were running out of money at a time when others were starting to rise. One option was a potential Ford acquisition. From a report from July 2017 in Recode:
Lucid began its fourth round of institutional fundraising earlier this year with the help of investment bank Morgan Stanley. Ford’s takeover bid came as a surprise, a source close to Lucid said: “The bank approached Ford to find out if they would participate in the Series D. They came back and said they would buy.”
That never happened, however, and Lucid Motors eventually trampled the water until they entered into a massive deal with Saudi Arabia, which now owns the majority of the startup. Ford, for its part, was able to make quite a significant investment in the Rivian for itself – a deal that it slung out under rival General Motors.
In the years since, Lucid Motors has spent billions of dollars of Saudi Arabia’s money getting Air EV ready for production. The startup revealed on Monday that it has lost more than $ 1.5 billion this year alone in the insane battle to start sending Air to customers and has spent about $ 5 billion over its entire lifetime.
The stock market – which has been extremely hot on electric car startups recently – rewarded this effort on Tuesday, pushing Lucid Motors’ valuation to nearly $ 90 billion. Ford ended the day at about $ 79 billion.
Lucid Motors still has a lot of work ahead. The startup is still building its new plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, and says it plans to build 20,000 Air sedans by 2022 before adding an electric SUV to its range by the end of the following year. It will definitely be a challenging job. Today, the market at least treated the to-do list as largely pure upside.