People test drive Dream Edition P and Dream Edition R electric vehicles at the Lucid Motors plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, September 28, 2021.
Caitlin O’Hara | Reuters
Lucid Group CEO Peter Rawlinson believes there’s a long runway for the electric vehicle start-up’s stock and market value to surpass traditional automakers and to eventually be valued more like industry leader Tesla.
Rawlinson, an ex-Tesla executive, regularly compares Lucid to his former employer in terms of in-house technologies and overall development of electric vehicles. He and CFO Sherry House on Wednesday both said the company’s recent run-up in stock is proof Wall Street is already viewing Lucid more like Tesla than a traditional automaker.
The company’s shares popped by more than 11% just before the market open Tuesday.
“I think the sky’s the limit in terms of valuation, but it’s all about execution,” he told CNBC during an interview Monday night following Lucid reporting its first quarterly financial results as a public company. “It’s all about execution, it’s all about scaling volume. And that’s my focus. And I think the share price lookup as a result.”
Lucid’s stock price is up by more than 80% since going public through a SPAC deal in July. It remains below its 52-week high of nearly $65 a share in February when it was reported that Lucid was nearing a deal.
Lucid’s market cap of roughly $79 billion is approaching Ford Motor’s at $80 billion, but still far below Tesla, which surged to more than $1 trillion this year. Rivian, an EV start-up that went public last week, has a market cap of about $140 billion.
“I feel great about our stock price,” House told CNBC during the joint interview. “The run-up that we’ve had, where it is today and also the growth trajectory, frankly, that’s in front of us. I see that we’re being regarded as a technology company with a platform that’s extensible across lots of vehicle variants and sustainable tech.”
Lucid’s first vehicle is called the Air sedan. It started delivering a $169,000 “Dream Edition” of the flagship car to customers in late-October, following commercial production beginning a month earlier at a new factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. The car has an industry-leading range of 520 miles.
Peter Rawlinson joined Lucid Motors in 2013 as chief technology officer, a role he has maintained since being named CEO of the company in April 2019.
Rawlinson’s goal with the Air, which he believes has been accomplished, was to make “the best car in the world.” The Air on Monday was named MotorTrend’s car of the year, a coveted award in the automotive industry.
“I think the world recognizes we’ve got an amazing product,” Rawlinson said. “I think everyone realizes what I’ve been promising would be the best car in the world. It’s true. It’s happened.”
Lucid is among a handful of EV start-up companies to go public through deals with a so-called SPAC since last year. But unlike some of its SPAC peers, Lucid is actually generating revenue and producing vehicles. It also has thus far avoided any federal probes into potentially misleading statements to investors unlike others such as Nikola, Lordstown Motors and Canoo.
The young company isn’t yet profitable and is still in the early day of generating revenue. The automaker’s revenue in the third quarter was $232,000, largely from a battery deal with the Formula E electric racing league. It reported a net loss of $1.5 billion through the first nine months of the year, including a $524.4 million loss in the third quarter.
Lucid told investors in July that it expects to produce 20,000 Lucid Air sedans in 2022, generating more than $2.2 billion in revenue. Rawlinson confirmed that production target on Monday, but cautioned the “target is not without risk” due to an ongoing global disruption in automotive supply chains.
The company also told investors Monday that it has more than 17,000 reservations for its Air sedan, up from 13,000 through the third quarter.
Interior of the Lucid Air show car, which is expected to be produced beginning in 2021.