Lucid is running out of time to meet its 2022 delivery goals.
Electric vehicle automaker Lucid is desperately trying to avoid canceled customer orders in an effort to increase delivery numbers before the end of the year.
Retail workers are under immense pressure to reduce cancelations based on emails that were viewed by Business Insider, and a detailed protocol was devised by the company to retain customers.
Lucid reported a significant net loss in the third quarter of 2022 but was apparently on track to meet its goal of delivering 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles this year, down from a plan of 20,000 initially. Based on this intensified strategy to keep customers, it seems uncertain whether Lucid will meet this goal, as it has been struggling with deliveries all year.
"Every cancelation is a failure," said an email sent to Lucid employees before it delved into a plan for "saving" those customers. If a client intends to cancel an order of the Lucid Air sedan, a Lucid "case owner" is assigned to this customer and must reach out to them telephonically within 24 hours.
If the case owner can't reach the customer, they are required to call three more times on consecutive days. Should that still be unsuccessful, a manager and then a regional manager is further required to contact the customer.
A customer who doesn't pick up their phone for two weeks could receive multiple calls from a string of Lucid employees before the company finally processes the cancelation.
"At least in retail, I think they're definitely starting to put the hammer down, and it's this unhealthy pressure from the top," said one current Lucid employee who asked to remain anonymous. "I think the level of desperation and the tone of that email, combined with that cancelation protocol, doesn't spell high-end and luxury."
For some Lucid employees, there's more bad news as "blackout" periods have been introduced for the end of the year. Including the December 17 to December 31 period, some Lucid employees won't be able to take vacation days, presumably to get all hands on deck to retain reservations.
Deliveries for the new Lucid Air Pure and Touring models were due to begin in November, and the new Gravity SUV revealed last month is still on the way. The Pure is one of the most critical variants as it's the only Air sedan with a starting price of under $90,000.
In August, Lucid had around 37,000 unfulfilled reservations, and with only up to 7,000 cars expected to be produced in 2022, it's no surprise that cancelations from frustrated customers have begun piling up.
Whether or not bombarding customers with phone calls to retain them is a successful plan of action remains to be determined. For now, Tesla's ability to produce high volumes of EVs is an advantage that should keep it ahead of startups like Lucid for the foreseeable future.