When some companies fall on hard financial times, they turn to Wall St. to sell stock or to banks to get loans.
Faraday Future has tried all of that and is trying to raise another $500 million in cash or debt to continue developing its $300,000 electric luxury car.
In the meantime, its employees have turned to Go Fund Me to raise $50,000 to keep their families afloat until the company can find more financing or the workers can find new jobs.
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After a funding dispute with its latest investor from Hong Kong, Faraday furloughed all the manufacturing employees at its factory in Hanford, California, who had been with the company for less than six months. Since the funding to produce the car was just procured in June, that includes most manufacturing employees.
Other employees, including managers, are on a reduced salary while the company seeks new funding.
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An arbitrator in Hong Kong ruled last month that Faraday Future may seek new funding from sources other than Evergrande Health, its Hong Kong benefactor. Evergrande agreed in June to invest $2 billion in Faraday Future, including an initial $800 million investment to get the company through its first six months and get manufacturing up and running. The company ran through the first $800 million in four months with only a few prototypes produced.
The arbitrator did not require Evergrande to release any more money to Faraday Future.
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In the meantime, two key executives have left the company, Peter Savagian, former chief engineer for the GM EV1 and Faraday Future's key senior vice president, and the company's American co-founder, Nick Sampson. In his public letter of resignation, Sampson called the company "insolvent in both its financial and personnel assets."
The Go Fund Me campaignwas launched by Hector Padilla, the manager of tooling and equipment for Faraday Future's Body-in-White production.
According to the Go Fund Me page, employees on furlough who have children, house and car payments, and no other backup plan will get priority for the funding, administered by Padilla and a co-worker. So far it has raised $16,000 toward its $50,000 goal.