Faraday Future is running on fumes. But it’s still running. The Gardena-based luxury electric car start-up raised $14 million in emergency funding and will lease an old factory near Fresno that will enable it to turn out 10,000 cars a year. The company has dramatically lowered its ambitions. Its goal now is to try to remain solvent enough to start manufacturing and selling the FF 91, a powerful, technology-packed luxurious electric sedan with a base price expected to top $100,000. As recently as last year, the company had plans to turn out 150,000 cars a year from a massive new $5-billion assembly plant near Las Vegas.
Apple today has only one plant of its own—in Cork, Ireland. Its contract manufacturers operate two small U.S. plants, in Austin, Texas and Fremont, Calif. Those facilities have never grown beyond their narrow role making Apple’s Mac Pro computer, a niche product that sells for $3,000 or more.
. . . Apple last opened manufacturing facilities for computers in the 1990s with plants in Fountain, Colo. and Elk Grove, Calif. It shut down its last U.S. manufacturing line in 2004, laying off 235 full-time workers in Elk Grove.
Even as Wall Street bulls tout Tesla’s stock, almost a conspiracy of silence has surrounded the most interesting questions. One of these concerns what happens when 300,000 customers who deposited $1,000 each for the forthcoming Tesla Model 3 learn that the $7,500 federal tax credit will expire before they can get their hands on it. Now we know. Tesla may not be too big to fail as far as the federal government is concerned, but it certainly is too big to fail as far as California politicians are concerned. As enthusiast site GreenCarReports.com says frankly of AB 1184, a bill recently passed by the state Assembly and awaiting Senate action: “CA bill would make up for federal electric-car incentives as they expire.”
China-based businesses have been sinking money into various automotive operations—from glass and tire makers to technology developers and car makers—for several years, reflecting Beijing’s goal of eventually dominating the world’s car business. That effort accelerated during the first half of 2017, with eight overseas deals totaling more than $5.5 billion in Chinese investments, compared with nine investments for all of last year. The list includes the takeover of troubled Japanese air-bag maker Takata Corp. , the purchase of a U.S. flying-car developer and the acquisition of a sizable stake in Silicon Valley’s Tesla Inc. TSLA 1.43% by games and social-media company Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Tesla Inc.’s sales in Hong Kong came to a standstill after authorities slashed a tax break for electric vehicles on April 1, demonstrating how sensitive the company’s performance can be to government incentive programs. Not a single newly purchased Tesla model was registered in Hong Kong in April, according to official data from the city’s Transportation Department analyzed by The Wall Street Journal. In March, shortly after the tax change was announced and ahead of the April 1 deadline, 2,939 Tesla vehicles were registered there—almost twice as many as in the last six months of 2016.