Faraday Future cancels plans to build an assembly factory in California

Faraday Future, the would-be Tesla rival facing well-documented challenges in terms of capitalization and efforts to bring its first production vehicle to market, has scrapped plans to construct an assembly facility and “experience center” (read: showroom) in Vallejo, California on Mare Island. The car maker had already secured a negotiating agreement with the Vallejo city council regarding the site, but the company has been scaling back some of its ambitions in the interest of protecting its core interests.

Faraday’s planned North Bay site would’ve been its second assembly plant, intended to begin operation sometime after its Nevada factory maximized its own production capacity. The Nevada plant has faced its own challenges, after the 3 million square foot,  $1 billion facility saw work stop on its construction late last year due to contractor non-payment. The Nevada facility plans have been reset, with a more modest 650,000 square foot planned for completion sometime this fall. Faraday says it’ll resume work on this Vegas facility shortly.

The electric car company hasn’t closed the door entirely on future potential projects with Vallejo, noting in a statement to TechCrunch that it “would like to thank the city and its officials for their generosity and professionalism throughout this process, and looks forward to exploring future opportunities with the city.” But despite an optimistic launch of the FF 91 at CES earlier this year, its first production target vehicle, it’s unclear where the future will lead for Faraday.

A Faraday spokesperson noted that while it found through its initial study that the Mare Island site was appropriate for its needs, its focus is now on the North Las Vegas facility, for which construction efforts will resume “soon.” The full statement from Faraday is included below:

Faraday Future (FF) has an update on its planned manufacturing facility and user experience center on North Mare Island in Vallejo. Due to the new strategy to focus corporate efforts on development of its first production vehicle and plant in North Las Vegas, FF has decided to end its Exclusive Right to Negotiate (ERN) with the City of Vallejo. FF will stay in contact with the City, and remains interested in acquiring land on North Mare Island in the future. FF would like to thank the City and its officials for their generosity and professionalism throughout this process, and looks forward to exploring future opportunities with the City.

As part of its due diligence, FF conducted various technical studies to assess the Island for development feasibility. The 157-acre North Mare Island site was found adequate to support development of a manufacturing facility and user experience center, and the results of these studies will be shared with the City as part of the original agreement.

FF’s new multi-phased manufacturing strategy in Nevada is designed to bring FF 91, the company’s flagship vehicle, to production more quickly, allowing FF to fill vehicle reservations that were collected following the car’s launch at CES 2017.

FF plans to restart construction at the North Las Vegas site very soon.

Featured Image: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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