Although the future looks brighter this year for the electric-vehicle hopeful Faraday Future, with a new line of funding revealed in April to help them get through the year and to the long-awaited production of its FF91 electric SUV, a recent report suggests that there may soon be more upheaval to come.
The company’s CEO and founder, Jia Yueting, could be stepping down as part of a restructuring plan, according to the China-based, English-language tech-media site Pandaily.
Faraday is quite a different company than it was in 2017, when it revealed the FF91 to much fanfare at CES, or even last year, when a $2 billion round of financing was announced from Hong Kong–based Evergrande Health. Several months later Evergrande still hadn’t produced the first $700 million of the promised funding, as part of a dispute.
Evergrande ended up seeking elsewhere to build its own electric-vehicle empire—with a controlling interest in National Electric Vehicles Sweden (NEVS), a Chinese company that bought the rights to Saab’s former vehicle designs (but not the name).
Some of the company’s top and founding executives have left the company, including Peter Savagian, the senior VP at Faraday and once chief engineer of the GM EV1. But the CEO, who goes by YT Jia, has remained at the company and in the U.S., where he reportedly can escape some of his own financial woes in China (part of the controversy in and of itself).
Faraday Future plant in Hanford, California
Faraday spokesman John Schilling declined to comment to Green Car Reports on what he called “speculation about our executives,” or on future plans for the company. But he confirmed that the company remains committed to the completion and launch of the FF91, and that it continues the development of the FF81 for launch in 2021.
It still has a place for that. The company gave up earlier plans to produce its vehicles at a North Las Vegas, Nevada, facility and opted for a smaller former Pirelli facility in Hanford, California—where, if this round of funding goes smoothly, the company could start building vehicles again sometime next year.