Faraday Future has signed a lease on a manufacturing facility in Central California. The company will lease an old factory in Hanford, California to develop and manufacture its electric vehicles. A company press release said, “Following the move-out of current tenants in late November, the company expects significant movement to ramp-up on site in early 2018.” The company says that the refurbished plant will enable it to turn out 10,000 cars a year.
Faraday’s new factory is located in Hanford, a town of 55,000 south of Fresno. The building was first opened in 1962 by the Armstrong Rubber Co. to manufacture tires. Italian tire-maker Pirelli bought the factory in 1985, but shut it down in 2001. The building has been mostly empty since.
The Hanford plant covers a million square feet. The manufacturing facility “will employ up to 1,300 workers, over three shifts, over time,” the company says. This weekend, the electric vehicle manufacturer invited its employees out to the site to help “begin the process of site clean-up and embrace the company’s new manufacturing home,” according to the company press release.
The move comes month after the company scrapped plans for a massive new $5-billion assembly plant near Las Vegas. Those plans ended when the company’s primary investor, Chinese entrepreneur and LeEco Chief Executive Jia Yueting, had his assets frozen by the government in his home country. The Las Vegas factory never got off the ground.
Stefan Krause, the company’s chief operating officer, is now on the hunt for capital to keep Faraday alive. The Gardena-based luxury electric car start-up recently raised nearly $14 million in emergency funding. A two-year-old investment firm called Innovatus Capital Partners handed Faraday a $13.75-million one-year loan last week, but laid claims to Faraday’s Gardena headquarters as collateral. The total cost of the loan was not made public.
The company will start by manufacturing and selling the FF 91, a technology-packed electric luxury sedan with a base price expected to top $100,000. The vehicles are meant to compete with high-end Teslas. Faraday expects the first production cars to come off the line and be headed for customers by the end of next year.
The company will need to raise millions more to deliver market-ready FF 91s in that time frame. Faraday Future’s VP of Global Manufacturing, Dag Reckhorn, said, “Despite significant headwinds on the path ahead of us, we are laser-focused on that one key milestone.”