Lucid is setting its sights on a broader electric vehicle (EV) market with the introduction of “Project Midsize,” a compact crossover aimed at competing with Tesla’s popular Model Y. This move marks a significant shift in Lucid’s strategy, as the company aims to expand beyond its niche market and increase production volume.
The announcement of Project Midsize came at the event celebrating the expansion of Lucid’s manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona, which will allow it to produce the Gravity electric SUV and the Air electric sedan, but also paving the way for the new compact crossover.
During a talk at the event, CEO Peter Rawlinson emphasized that while their current models, like the Lucid Air starting at $74,500, compete with luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz, Project Midsize will target a more affordable market segment, potentially starting below US$50,000. This pricing strategy is crucial for Lucid, as it seeks to capture a share of the highly competitive EV market dominated by Tesla.
The Model Y’s success of becoming the best-selling car in the world in 2023, attributed to its size, price, and brand appeal, has set a high benchmark for Lucid’s new endeavor.
The Air Pure, currently the most accessible model in Lucid’s range, starts at US$78,900, indicating that Project Midsize will significantly undercut this price point.
This is the Lucid 'Project Midsize', the 3rd #EV @LucidMotors expects to launch … after the Gravity SUV, for which deliveries are to begin late this year.— John 'legacy blue check' Voelcker (@johnvoelcker) January 24, 2024
Per CEO Peter Rawlinson, engineering prototypes exist already. It'll be Lucid's Model Y, if you like. No timing discussed. pic.twitter.com/D6MsGa99O2
The new model, which is expected to be built on a smaller, more cost-effective platform, is not just a theoretical part of Lucid’s long-term plan. According to Rawlinson, engineering prototypes have already been built and production will take place at Lucid’s new plant in Saudi Arabia. This facility, currently capable of producing 5,000 Air sedans per year, is expected to expand to a capacity of 150,000 vehicles annually. However, timelines for the expansion and Project Midsize’s market debut remain uncertain.
Despite these ambitions, Lucid has faced challenges in ramping up production to meet its targets. In 2023, the company produced 8,428 vehicles but delivered only 6,001. This slow production rate, coupled with a 60% decline in stock price over the previous year, highlights the hurdles Lucid must overcome.