Lucid Motors, an American electric vehicle maker and potential Tesla rival, has commenced a recruitment drive in China, involving 14 positions in digital informationization, hardware engineering, law, logistics management, supply chains, retail and other fields, according to a report by Jiemian News on December 13.
Lucid Motors did not disclose the specific number of recruits it is seeking for each position. Most positions require proficiency in both Chinese and English or two years or more of work experience at Chinese enterprises. It can be seen from the post requirements that the US company focuses on localization services, charging facilities layout and supply chain management in the Chinese market. In May this year, it was reported that the company had recruited employees responsible for HR in China.
Lucid Motors was founded in 2007 by Bernard Tse, the former vice president and director at Tesla, and Sam Weng, a former executive at Oracle. It previously focused on the R&D of vehicle batteries, motors and electric control systems, serving automotive firms. Since 2013, it has transformed to include R&D of whole vehicles. The company positions its products as high-end luxury EVs. Its first mass production model is the Lucid Air, which starts at $87,400.
Lucid Motors has maintained relationships with Chinese capital institutions since its establishment. In an A-round of financing completed in 2009, China’s Tsing Capital appeared as an investor. In 2014, Chinese automaker BAIC Group and famous Chinese businessman Yueting Jia participated in a C-round of financing for Lucid Motors, and they used to be the largest and second-largest shareholders of the company respectively.
It is worth mentioning that the government of Saudi Arabia is also one of Lucid Motors’ major investors, and the recent upgrading of Sino-Saudi cooperation may also be one of the reasons that the company wants to enter China.
This round of talent recruitment can be regarded as a signal of Lucid Motors’ future layout in the Chinese market. Bill Russo, the founder and CEO of Automobility, an automotive consulting company, told Jiemian News that if the industry wants to compete internationally, it needs the participation of a huge market. China provides such a market, as consumers there are more willing to try new automotive solutions and battery-powered technologies.
China now ranks first in the world in EV sales. According to data from the China Passenger Car Association, in the first 11 months of this year, the retail volume of new energy passenger cars in China was 5.03 million units, up 100.1% year-on-year. In November, the retail penetration rate of new energy passenger cars rose to 36.3%, an increase of 15% from the same period last year.
However, competition in China’s NEV market is now fierce. There are not only strong foreign companies like Tesla, but also local domestic companies such as NIO, XPeng, Li Auto and BYD, whose car sales in China are far ahead of Lucid Motors’ current performance. Whenever the firm enters China, it is sure to face a tough challenge.