Are these vehicles canceled customer orders, or is the automaker just trying to assist clients where it can?
In an attempt to ease long wait times, Lucid Motors has taken to offering customers pre-configured vehicles that are ready for delivery. The catch? You can't customize the Air to your desired tastes - you have to take what's offered.
That may not be such a bad thing, though. Described as the "most convenient way to put Lucid Air in your driveway," the available inventory has been specified with the most popular options. Several vehicles are already available on the company's website, all dressed in varying exterior colors and interior finishes.
For now, there are just nine Grand Touring derivatives available, all priced at $154,000. If you're looking to spend a bit less, you'll have to order the $87,000 Air Pure and wait patiently. Deliveries are expected to commence in December.
There's a possibility that the program may grow to include more vehicles in the coming weeks and perhaps even retail pre-owned vehicles in the years to come. CarBuzz has reached out to Lucid Motors for comment and will update the article accordingly.
Ordering a pre-configured Air may not be ideal, but it could suit those who are desperate to get their hands on the electric sedan. After all, production and deliveries have been affected by the ongoing chip crisis and supply chain issues.
The automaker built just 2,282 vehicles in the third quarter and delivered a mere 1,393 of them to waiting customers. From January to September, just 66% of the 3,687 vehicles it produced were delivered.
While unconfirmed, there's a possibility that customers had grown tired of waiting and canceled orders, leading to these pre-configured vehicles being offered for sale on the website.
But according to Lucid, that's not the case. During a third-quarter earnings call, CFO Sherry House explained to investors the delay between production and delivery "was primarily a function of vehicles distributed across three areas of the delivery process: vehicles in transit, vehicles awaiting pre-delivery inspection, and vehicles awaiting delivery to a customer."
Lucid is, most likely, worried about the situation, as it's a startup and cannot afford to delay much-needed profits. Eric Anderson, a research analyst for S&P Global, told Business Insider that supply-chain and chip shortage woes are to blame and have plagued the entire auto industry. Even so, Lucid's delivery rate of 66% is well behind other manufacturers.
"It's hard to say what a healthy level is for this gap right now because it's being applied to such a new concept," said Anderson, who also added that the production-to-delivery ratio is important because automakers don't record revenue until a vehicle is delivered.
Lucid has been trying to remedy the situation and is expected to expand its Casa Grande facility in the coming months. Elsewhere, the company is looking to raise an additional $8 billion in capital, presumably so it can scale up production - a necessary move with the Gravity SUV also on the way.
Company insiders say that part of the blame lies with the automaker's third-party logistics companies. Damaged or incorrectly stored parts led to a bottleneck at Lucid's Arizona warehouse and left the company with no choice but to set complete vehicles aside.
Hopefully, the fledgling Tesla rival will be able to gear up production and deal with these issues before it's too late. The Air is a fine automobile, and the Gravity SUV looks very promising. It's a tough time for any car company, let alone a startup. For Lucid's sake, we hope it can navigate through the challenging period successfully.