Luxury electric vehicle startup Faraday Future is moving its SUV production operations that were initially meant to be located in Las Vegas but have now faced issues amidst a major cash crunch of the company's largest investor and LeEco Chief Executive Officer Jia Yueting. The Los Angeles, California-based firm previously planned to build a $1 billion manufacturing plant in Las Vegas where its luxury electric SUVs would be assembled but is now seemingly abandoning that plan for the time being as Yueting is looking to have LeEco weather through its financial woes by completely halting a wide variety of overseas ventures, including Faraday Future's Las Vegas factory.
The latest turn of events marks yet another setback for the startup's ambitions that already took a hit this spring when the company scrapped plans to build a manufacturing plant in Vallejo, California, initially stating that it's refocusing its resources and intends to prioritize its planned Las Vegas plant, the very same one that has now also been put on hold. Faraday Future still claims that it's keen to start commercializing the SUV FF 91, as reported by Reuters, though the firm has yet to clarify on its immediate plans and it's currently unclear where exactly are its operations being relocated. The company is seemingly still hoping to start manufacturing its luxury electric SUV lineup by early 2018, though it remains to be seen whether it manages to achieve that goal.
LeEco's financial troubles have been affecting Faraday Future's prospects for some time now, with the startup apparently even being unable to pay its marketing bills and being sued over the matter earlier this year. LeEco itself is still in a relatively thankless position, with many of its operations being put on hold, some of its assets frozen, and numerous Chinese employees still being owed wages that reportedly won't be paid until August 10. Most industry watchers agree that the Beijing-based tech giant expanded too quickly and gambled too much on its sustainability in recent years, having risen from an online streaming platform to a consumer electronics and vehicle manufacturer in only 13 years. An update on Faraday Future and LeEco's efforts to survive its cash crunch should follow in the coming months.