Lucid Cuts Another 400 Jobs Ahead of Its Gravity SUV Debut

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Lucid Motors is conducting another round of layoffs, cutting about 400 jobs as it gets ready to deliver its electric Gravity SUV.

In an SEC filing, Lucid said the layoffs would help accommodate “evolving business needs and productivity improvements.” It expected to complete the restructuring by the end of the third quarter.

In an email obtained by TechCrunch, company chief Peter Rawlinson tied the headcount reductions to the Gravity release later in the year. While it’s poised to “dramatically expand” Lucid’s customer base, it’s not making money yet — the job cuts will reportedly keep costs in check while the brand prepares for the future.

The layoffs would affect Lucid’s contract and full-time workers, including management, Rawlinson added. However, he stressed that hourly workers in factories and logistics wouldn’t lose their jobs.

Lucid is so far dependent solely on sales of its Air luxury sedan. While its deliveries are up, it’s facing fierce competition that includes Tesla’s Model S and premium models from Mercedes and Porsche, among others. The automaker has leaned heavily on its majority stakeholder, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, for support.

The company cut roughly 1,300 jobs in March 2023, again with restructuring in mind.

The Gravity is an upscale three-row SUV that promises more performance than you currently get in the increasingly crowded segment. Lucid estimates up to 440 miles of range, over 800HP, and a 0-60MPH time under 3.5 seconds. It should start at $69,900.

While still expensive, the Gravity should be considerably more appealing than the Air to a North American market where SUVs dominate.

The EV market has been rough in recent months, with even Tesla falling short on sales. While the market is still growing, incumbent brands like Ford and GM have turned some of their attention to hybrids. Smaller manufacturers have had it worse, though. Fisker is on the edge of bankruptcy, while even stronger performers like Polestar and Rivian aren’t immune to losses and layoffs. Lucid’s move just shows that it’s in a similarly difficult position.