Faraday Future has announced the start of FF91 production in its Hanford, CA factory in central California, which it calls “FF ieFactory California.”
Earlier this month, Faraday said that it would finally start production by the end of March, pending millions of funding coming through.
Faraday says this is last of 7 major manufacturing milestones on a long road to bring the FF91 to production, a car which was originally unveiled in 2017 with 2018 production intent.
The FF91 promised 1,050 horsepower, a 130kWh battery capable of 381 miles of range, 200kW charging, and self-driving capability. It also promised a 0-60 time of 2.27 seconds, which was faster than “other benchmark cars” (namely, Tesla) at the time.
These specs were quite eyewatering at the time, and are still very good, though the shine has been somewhat taken off of them through five years worth of delays. But to Faraday’s credit, it seems to have kept the same specs as its original announcement, without watering them down in the interim.
In the meantime, Faraday Future’s past CEO and founder, Jia Yueting, otherwise known as YT Jia, found himself in difficult financial issues. Jia was replaced by Carsten Breitfeld, formerly of BMW and Byton, who was then replaced by current CEO Xuefeng Chen, known as “XF.”
Both XF and YT were on site for the livestream, with the two affixing a plaque to the first chassis to roll off the production lines.
Faraday has still not specified the price of its vehicle, but during the stream, execs praised the FF91’s luxury, and founder YT Jia name-dropped both Ferrari and Maybach, setting a rather high bar in that respect. Jia also said that Faraday wants to position itself well in the “high value user market,” another signal that prices won’t be low.
Faraday has two tiers of preorders for its vehicle: $5,000 for the “FF 91 Futurist Alliance” tier and $1,500 for the “FF 91 Futurist” tier. The $5,000 tier is currently sold out, but Faraday says that interested buyers can
Immediately after the original announcement, Faraday announced it had received over 64,000 reservations in 36 hours. But these were unpaid hand-raises, and on a more recent check-in, the company claimed to have 14,000 unpaid reservations, and only 401 paid reservations.
Despite these modest numbers, Jia stated today that “current production capacity falls far behind market demand.”
Faraday plans to open a store in Beverly Hills later this year, with sales efforts starting in Los Angeles and San Francisco first, then New York, and in Shanghai and Beijing in China.
The start of production was accompanied by a livestream on Faraday’s social media channels, which you can view below (the actual action starts at 46:49 in the video):
When this car was originally announced, I noted that it included “every popular concept car feature from the last several years” – and even some new ones, like facial recognition technology which would automatically set music, temperature, scent and massage features if the car detects that you’re having a bad day.
It felt like a “kitchen sink” announcement, a car that was heavy on promises, but which likely would lag behind those promises in reality. So the delays before production are not a big surprise. I think almost nobody expected it to actually get on the road in 2018.
Personally, though, I didn’t expect it to ever get to production at all. It seemed unrealistic to me.
So Faraday should be commended for getting to the point it has gotten to, despite it seeming quite unlikely. It has at least produced a chassis, and it has a factory, and some customers waiting for for said chassis, at an as-yet-unannounced price and hopefully with the rest of the car attached. Now, the next step is to actually get the car onto the road, and into customers’ hands.