Faraday Future Getting Back Into the Game With New Chinese Partner
With Faraday Future and Evergrande Health having officially settled their bitter legal dispute late last year, the once-again independent automaker could finally get back to hunting for new investors. Despite Faraday’s entire existence being overshadowed by financial missteps and bizarre business dealings (resulting in an inability to deliver product), it’s extremely good at scrounging up funds. Breaking ties with its primary financial partner might have seemed like bad news, especially after so many near-death experiences, but this is where the company shines the brightest.
On Sunday, Faraday Future signed into a 50-50 partnership with Shanghai-based internet gaming operator The9 — which amassed its fortune after gaining exclusive licensing rights to operate and distribute the extremely popular World of Warcraft in China. Faraday said the deal marks the first step in its plan to officially launch its dual-home-market strategy in both China and the United States.
“We are committed to be part of the future of the growing Chinese EV mobility market,” said Faraday Future CEO Jia Yueting. “Through the establishment of the joint venture, we are able to implement our dual-home-market and dual-brand strategy and achieve our strategic goal of introducing our new luxury EV brand in China.”
Under the joint venture agreement, The9 will “make capital contributions of up to $600 million,” while FF makes in-kind contributions — including FF’s right to a piece of Chinese land earmarked for luxury EV manufacturing and “an exclusive license to manufacture, market, distribute and sell Faraday Future’s new brand V9 model and potentially other select future car models in China.”
The V9 was said to be an entirely new electric vehicle “based on the technology and design” of the company’s FF 91. While Faraday always referred to the FF 91 as a “concept,” the car was intended to become a mass-produced vehicle. The company managed to build a body-in-white, intended for assembly, at its leased Hanford facility last summer, but Faraday’s legal battle with Evergrande destroyed the entire project before the vehicle’s completion.
As with Faraday’s previous arrangement with Evergrande, The9’s financial contributions are contingent on the fulfillment of specific funding conditions. We’re not privy to those stipulations, though common sense dictates that a target date for the V9’s mass production sits near the top of the list.
All Faraday said is that it expects the capacity of the joint venture to be somewhere around 300,000 cars, and that the first pre-production car should be completed in 2020. Considering FF’s corporate history, take that with a golf ball-sized grain of salt.
[Image: Faraday Future]
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Let's play devil's advocate... FF may have known what they were doing all a long. Make promises in the US, obtain lots of tech tech while building lots of silly prototypes, don't pay your bills (you were never planning on producing in the US anyway), go back to China, build there based on what you learned in the US. Profit.
In days of old this was called a “long con”.