Faraday Future Getting Back Into the Game With New Chinese Partner

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 6 comments
  • Brn Brn on Mar 27, 2019

    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.

  • TimK TimK on Mar 28, 2019

    In days of old this was called a “long con”.

  • Lynchenstein @EBFlex - All ICEs are zero-emission until you start them up. Except my mom's old 95 Accord, that used to emit oil onto the ground quite a lot.
  • Charles The UAW makes me the opposite of patriotic
  • El scotto Wranglers are like good work boots, you can't make them any better. Rugged four wheel drive vehicles which ironically make great urban vehicles. Wagoneers were like handbags desired by affluent women. They've gone out of vogue. I can a Belgian company selling Jeep and Ram Trucks to a Chinese company.
  • El scotto So now would be a good time to buy an EV as a commuter car?
  • ToolGuy $1 billion / 333.3 million = $3 per U.S. person ¶ And what do I get for my 3 bucks -- cleaner air and lower fuel prices? I might be ok with this 🙂🙂