By on January 6, 2017

FF 91 Reveal

Faraday Future, the Chinese-answer-to-Tesla car company whose travails have been worthy of three concurrently running soap operas even though they have yet to put a single car anywhere near a showroom, debuted a sorta-concepty-production thing this week. And boy oh boy did the knives come out. But why?

Totally femmed-out Brooklyn hipster Andrew Hawkins whined about FF’s lack of humility, as if the mere act of assembling a uniquely engineered car wasn’t to running a “tech culture” website as landing on the moon is to accidentally shitting on your own feet. Jalopnik called the FF’s presentation “embarrassing” and “interminable”, perhaps forgetting that once upon a time they devoted an entire day to an archival shot of Steve McQueen’s flaccid penis. Even the New York Daily News, which until this moment was primarily notable for featuring the work of Shaun “Talcum X” King, a person who identifies as white or black depending on the opportunities facing him at the moment, called the FF 91 reveal cataclysmic.

You will search long and hard for any comparable venom unleashed by the press on any other automobile manufacturer doing business in the United States, particularly if the manufacturer in question is able to put people up in a five-star hotel for a lifestyle press event. TTAC’s former Editor-in-Chief Ed Niedermeyer, a fellow with whom I have had no small number of disagreements over the years, calls this a prime example of The Wobble. I think he might be right. I also think that the minute Faraday Future starts sending people to Tenerife for three-day press events, all of this negativity will blow away like so many dandelion seeds before a hurricane wind.

But I could be wrong. This could all be very principled criticism. What say you, B&B? Should Faraday Future be lampooned? Encouraged? Held to a higher standard? Pushed back into the Pacific by main force of arms?

Does it even matter?

[Image: © 2017 Seth Parks/The Truth About Cars]

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34 Comments on “QOTD: Does Faraday Future Deserve The Dogpile?...”

  • avatar

    It’s a wonder Jack isn’t more popular with his peers given how favorably he publicly describes them.

    • 0 avatar

      He’s right about Jalopnik, though. They have seven front-page explative-laden articles devoted to how much a ribald piece of garbage Farraday is. This is the same Jalopnik that justifies the Mirage, emasculates the Bolt, and blogasms over anything vaguley Tesla-related. “Push a button and it does a light show! OMGZORZ!! #TheBoltSucks”

      My only question is do they click POST on a Tesla piece before or after they wipe off the front of their slacks?

      • 0 avatar

        I noticed Jalops editorial tone towards Tesal changed around the time Ballaban got upped to deputy editor and invited on MSNBC to talk about Elon and company.

        Since then his coverage of them has been nothing short of gushing, although following the death of Gawker it seems like he’s not allowed to write about them very often anymore. Prior, he used to be their go to for any kind of Tesla PR… I mean story.

      • 0 avatar

        If they offer it in brown and with a manual do you think that’d go a long way towards satisfying the Jalopnik readership?

    • 0 avatar

      Another thought-provoking article for the readers of The Baruth About Cars.

  • avatar

    Hmmm…I can think of a few reasons

    Crazy Chinese rich “owner” behind the scenes
    LeEco company with additional financial problems (main investor)
    Waiting on money to be sent to US and they are behind
    No current CEO
    Sr. management is on a revolving door

    I wouldn’t say the dogpile FF got is completely undeserved, the current situation certainly doesn’t look great – Granted, they did at least build one vehicle so far that runs, but none of FF so far inspires confidence. (And remember we haven’t seen a real Tesla Model 3 yet, I live near the Tesla offices and factory in SV, and while I saw plenty of the Tesla S models being tested, its 2017 and I haven’t seen the Tesla 3 around anywhere)

    This looks a lot like Fisker Automotive back 4 years ago, and we know how that story ended.

    • 0 avatar

      Good list. I think The Wobble is a factor, as auto-journos (present company excepted of course) don’t get a lot of opportunities to beat up on the manufacturers. But in this case, not treating FF with a healthy dose of skepticism would constitute journalistic malpractice.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Good summary.

      They’ve also stiffed their Nevada contractors to the tune of $57 million, so work has stopped. Those contractors have certainly moved on to other paying customers.

      They lack a visionary leader, but such a quality can’t be bought, either.

      As for the Model 3, the same two which were functional at the 3/31 reveal have been spotted in the wild a couple times, but not lately:

    • 0 avatar

      No sympathy. They’ve tried hard to get media attention to attract more investors, but they really don’t have anything to show for it (this showing is weak). At some point the media are going to feel like they’re being used and are going to pull out the steak knives. Faraday Future has used the media for attention, now the media is going to use a dissection of Faraday Future for clickbait. While it’s fair to question it, TTAC can’t say they weren’t a part.

    • 0 avatar

      Good summary. These guys did (still do, despite producing at least one car?) have all the hallmarks of vapourware. I’d say the piling on was justified.

  • avatar

    “Does it even matter?”


  • avatar

    The introduction was simply, vaguely comical. It was slick and well produced for the most part. But, it had an emperor-with-no-clothes feel about it. The hooting and cheering by the fanboys/employees/paidaudience made it seem amateurish. None of the speakers has an ounce of charisma. The car seemed strangely detached from the breathless hype around every single amazing (because every single GD thing was amazing!) These just seemed to be a bunch of guys saying, ‘look at us, we’re as cool as Steve Jobs and we built a car and he didn’t.’ The fact is nobody will out-do Jobs, so do something different. Somehow, with all that technology and all that battery power and all those features, those guys couldn’t make me think I should aspire to own that thing. I saw an overly complex iPhone on wheels, not a car I want to drive and look at.

  • avatar

    Jack’s full of piss & vinegar today (especially for a Friday) and it works.

    It even rubbed off on brother Mark, who composed one his best hit-pieces (justifiably so) in ages.


  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    The answer is simple: do an old-school TTAC Birth Watch of FF. If things go badly, change it to a Death Watch.

  • avatar

    Funny I was having the same thought about whether Cadillac deserved the scorn that bark heaped on them regarding their subscription program.

    Also, why is Jack so obsessed with race and gender politics? Every article seems to have random references to someone’s masculinity/femininity/race.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I think you have me confused with Shaun King. Most of what I write has zilch to do with race. Gender is a construct. I personally identify as an International Harvester Scout. My pronouns are “Scout”.

  • avatar

    “Talcum X” Is that a thing yet? No? I can’t stop laughing – that needs to be a thing. I’ll make it a thing. BRB.

    *Clicks away while laughing maniacally and trying to flare his nostrils….

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I couldn’t care less about anyone’s concept cars or promises made with respect to such.

    After Car and Driver tests a production model, I’ll start paying attention.

  • avatar

    There are plenty of reasons to laugh at FF, as pointed out by ciscokidinsf and sce-aux.

    Of all the new electric car startups, theirs is probably the least likely to see the light of day.

    If I were in charge…wait, that would be an improvement already, to have an actual human in charge. Lol, anyway, I’d liquidate the compamy before too much damage is done and its worthless. Sell out to Tesla or a traditional automaker. I hear FCA needs a new electric car program. Drop the stupid name, design some concept vehicles that look real and are feasible, go from there.

    • 0 avatar

      Lucid might be more at risk because they don’t have a billionaire backing them up. On the other hand, they aren’t hyping themselves up, are very focused and want the product to speak for itself.

      If I were in charge of FF, I’d take a different approach to marketing. Instead of focusing on speed and handling, which are irrelevant once it can self-drive, focus on how it’ll make your life easier and better through connectivity. Remember those AT&T “You Will” commercials? Something like that.

  • avatar

    It’s a reaction to the transparently putrid bullsh** that FF so contemptuously spewed last year at CES. These guys are all upset that they were expected to give fawning press to FF last year, and are making up for it now.

  • avatar

    Dare I say, the FFS69 or whatever looks a lot more attractive than the Model X.

  • avatar

    It’s too bad we didn’t have the internet when the Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation (aka The Dale) was on the way….

  • avatar

    Now that FF has a pair of prototypes and a demo car that actually fits with their marketing message, they should be held to the same standards as we hold others and generally encouraged.

    I thought the keynote was fine. JYT should probably have cut his speech a bit shorter, though. It wasn’t as embarassing as the previous CES where a journalist asked the FF’s SVP of Development Nick Sampson “What the f**k is that?” when the FF ZERO concept car was revealed.

    Their current financial troubles seem mainly like a result of some financially bold moves that JYT made, which put him squarely on the wrong side of risk and reward. We’ll know soon enough if they can keep things on track.

  • avatar

    It all started at last year’s CES when they showed off a supercar shaped sculpture and pretend it was a car, then were flippant about the need to prove they actually had a car in the works. Then you had a year’s worth of bad press about money problems, employees leaving etc. Then you had this reveal, which was overly long, had duplicative presentations ( you had a video of the FF drag racing, then immediately after you had the exact same vehicles drag racing live), nonsense videos of the factory being built (which were really just clips of earth movers pushing dirt around an empty lot), and boring presentations from several speakers who all seemed to have trouble enunciating English words.

  • avatar
    fishfry smith

    First of all, this line is amazing, thanks: ‘as if the mere act of assembling a uniquely engineered car wasn’t to running a “tech culture” website as landing on the moon is to accidentally shitting on your own feet’.

    We love the story of the once-successful rich guy being brought low — much like the oft-told story of The Donald’s brush with bankruptcy. Also, the smarty-pants start-nerds crashing and burning is a perennial crowd pleaser. The FF story has both, so will see a lot print.

  • avatar

    Faraday Future and Tesla are both flash in the pan, unprofitable vapor corporations. If Elon Musk were a cell phone salesman instead of the CEO , the latter would be just as dead as Fisker right now.

  • avatar

    Well Jack… It’s a new year and I gave you a break for a few weeks and I’m glad to see you’ve taken my advice and shortened your novels but WTF…. Maybe cut back on the Guinness’ while you are supposed to be working?

    “Totally femmed-out Brooklyn hipster Andrew Hawkins whined about FF’s lack of humility, as if the mere act of assembling a uniquely engineered car wasn’t to running a “tech culture” website as landing on the moon is to accidentally shitting on your own feet.”

    Speaking of Dogpile Drivel…!

    Happy New Year Jacki Boy! RB

  • avatar

    Oh and jack if indeed you do get rubles everytime I slander you that’s good as you could put those monies aside and take this course. ;-)

  • avatar

    Correct answer: E. Doesn’t even matter. Most internet automotive writing (don’t call it journalism) is little more than an exercise in self gratification.

  • avatar

    Yes, because Jalopnik is not the only place that gives it flak for being all hype and no product.

    Why does a company who claims to “change the future of driving” even bother to show a video about drag racing a Ferrari?

    Faraday Future, the Theranos of cars.

  • avatar

    I absolutely don’t give a damn. I’ll never buy a Chinese car. I’ve bought a lot of Chinese shit, but neither their airplanes nor their cars will I spend money on.

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