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Doubts Swirl Around Faraday Future’s Future

3/12/2016 02:13 PM EST
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realjjj
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Re: ...
realjjj   3/14/2016 1:15:42 PM
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Usually i expect an attempt to contact all parties involved, not just one side,seems only fair for everybody to have their say.

On the factory matter, they do have this modular platform, could they enable that with outsourcing while keeping costs low? I know nothing about cars but even the big names have deals to enable common platforms so i assume it's not that easy to outsource this. Longer term , CaaS times , you would need custom hardware for better TCO.

A couple of links that suggest that they are thinking beyond hardware

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-05/chinese-backed-startup-targets-tesla-with-1-billion-u-s-plant

http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/19/9761852/faraday-future-car-company-interview-tour-electric-tesla-competitor

 

junko.yoshida
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junko.yoshida   3/14/2016 12:37:40 PM
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Thanks,  realjjj. No, I appreciate your comments.

Bear in mind,  no story a journalist does is meant to be the final word. On-going stories is what we do. So, glad you expect more. We will look into it.

But here's the thing.

If you suspect, as you noted, "Faraday seems to be aiming to be a services company too," why would the company even  bother to build a $1B plant? That's where their logic falls apart in my humble opinion.

realjjj
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realjjj   3/14/2016 12:33:04 PM
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Don't take this as an attack but i think you should have tried to chat with LeEco and Aston Martin, as well as provide a bit more context instead of just painting this very negative picture.

The Aston Martin deal anonced not at CES but in mid Feb seems very relevant. ""It is anticipated that the partnership will see the two companies working together in developing and manufacturing RapidE, with potential for adding a range of next-generation connected electric vehicles on behalf of Aston Martin, LeEco and Faraday Future.""

The added context seems to be needed given the other comments here. LeEco is not a Netflix, it's a lot more. Their video platform is wider (they even have live sports) but last year they started a furious expansion and seem to be going after everything. Mid year they launched their first phones and did pretty well for someone new, they have TVs, a couple of headsets, a smart bike and so on. They are about to launch 4 new phones , one announced at CES but i digress, the hardware is sold cheap, close to cost, sometimes bellow cost. They are a services company, for now mostly video. Faraday seems to be aiming to be a services company too. On the hardware side they claim their modular platform would allow for faster time to market for multiple models but the goal seems to be to monetize the services. LeEco is the most interesting name in consumer devices this year given their huge ambitions. If they have short term liquidity problems, or the plans have changed or what exactly is going on with their shares, hard to say.


If curious their China store is http://www.lemall.com/

junko.yoshida
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Re: ...
junko.yoshida   3/14/2016 11:49:32 AM
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@realjjj, the problem is that there is NO transparency here. Sure, there was a deal with Aston Martin announced -- but does that have anything to do with FF? We don't know. Further, we still don't know how much LeEco has invested in FF. Assuming that FF is still FAR from making money, it is a huge risk that LeEco is tatking on...

perl_geek
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Deja vu
perl_geek   3/13/2016 4:14:49 PM
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This sounds like a classic trope from the history of scams; the promise of a new, high-tech factory generating high-paid jobs in an unlikely location, backed by some model or prototype. (Frequently, the McGuffin was a small jet aircraft, but they are no longer as fashionable as electric cars.) The precise way the scammers extract their rewards varies, but it usually involves expenditure by the jusrisdiction being used. (With a bit of skill and imagination, they can do it in a way that escapes legal attention.)

If you're starting a new manufacturing venture, the complications of building a new, greenfield, plant are unwelcome distractions. Using an existing facility, (ideally one bought from some bankrupt for 10 cents on the dollar), makes much more sense, especially if the former firm's employees had the sort of skills the project requires. It's highly unlikely that a new location will have some special property that will make it desirable, especially one in the sort of desperate backwater that tends to be the target of such scams.

JamesM91's suggestion makes good sense; it's foolish to develop in a way that requires several simultaneous miracles. (Aviation's full of examples.) Test one variable at a time, even if the experiments are simultaneous.

Conventional carmakers use "mules"; existing models with new motors, transmissions, or whatever component is being tested in place of the old ones. If you've got a super-battery, take an existing electrical vehicle, e.g. a Tesla Roadster, and substitute your new battery. If it works to a worthwhile extent, you might even have a market for upgrade kits to provide some cash-flow during development.

It's good to see that Nevada is being cautious. No doubt they're used to dealing with loud promoters who talk in telephone numbers, but are all "big hat, no cattle". In cases like this, don't spend a penny until the other guy's cheque has cleared into a bank you can take over.

JamesM951
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They're making it more complex than necessary
JamesM951   3/13/2016 3:23:23 AM
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Faraday should just take a Mazda Miata and modify it to the extent necessary to convert it into a 120 mile range electric car & sell it as cheaply as possible. Just make it a fun & affordable small car.  There's already a Youtube video of a Miata electric car beating a Tesla at the drag strip. No need to make it too fancy or complicated. Make it possible for the owners to work on it themselves.  It'll be a hit & get them a lot of credibility. 

realjjj
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...
realjjj   3/12/2016 4:02:14 PM
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There is more here. LeEco has a stake in Coolpad,  in Dec they payed 290 mil $ for a 20% stake in TCL Multimedia and last month they announced a deal with Aston Martin. Assuming they have no cash doesn't seem the most likely scenario.

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