American electric automaker Lucid is expanding its Advanced Manufacturing Plant One (AMP-1) in Casa Grande, Arizona, to prepare for the imminent production of the new Gravity e-SUV in late 2024, Automotive News reports.
The Lucid AMP-1’s expansion added about 3 million square feet from just a little less than 900,000 square feet. In effect, the factory’s total area extended to more than 3.85M sq ft.
According to Lucid Chief Executive Peter Rawlinson, the expansion is crucial for the company’s plans to launch the Gravity e-SUV by the end of the year.
“The expansion of our manufacturing footprint in Arizona is a significant milestone for the company, as we prepare for the next phase of Lucid’s growth.”
Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson
Lucid also noted that the newly expanded AMP-1 now has a new production facility, warehouse area, and one of the world’s most innovative stamping facilities.
In addition, it will soon welcome a new general assembly line, quality and semi-knock down (SKD) hubs, additional space for body and paint shops, a new logistics area, and a bigger powertrain facility upon completion.
“In just a few short years, the Lucid team has evolved our manufacturing footprint into one of the few highly integrated electric vehicle manufacturing plants in the US. This expanded state-of-the-art plant will bring greater operational efficiency to our manufacturing process and allow us to continue to deliver our high-quality, groundbreaking electric vehicles to our customers.”
Steven David, SVP of Operations at Lucid
What’s currently known about the Gravity EV?
Lucid initially revealed the new Gravity electric SUV in November 2023. It is expected to enable a driving range of about 440 miles and an acceleration of 0-60 mph in just below 3.5 seconds.
As per the official online configurator, the Gravity SUV will have a maximum output of more than 800 horsepower. It will apparently ride on a 900-volt architecture for a base price of approximately $80,000.
Waning demand for the Lucid Air
The major expansion of Lucid’s Arizona factory occurred after two years of producing the Air electric sedan. Since Lucid Air’s production in late 2021, sales have only surpassed 10,000 units.
The weak sales figure of Lucid Air was primarily due to the major production issues the American automaker faced in 2022, including component shortages.
In effect, Lucid repeatedly adjusted the Air EV’s production guidance. For instance, it forecasted a production of 20,000 Air units in 2022. In 2023, the automaker anticipated to produce 49,000 Air and Gravity EVs. However, Air EV production only reached 8,428 units last year.
S&P Global cited November data that Lucid Air EV’s registrations dropped 14% from the year-earlier month to 425 units. Its EV market share in the US also declined YoY to 0.5% from 0.7%. These figures demonstrate the waning demand for the Lucid Air EV, prompting the American automaker to seek another way to advance in the electric vehicle industry.
All that said, the upcoming Gravity SUV will play a significant role in Lucid’s efforts to catch up in the highly competitive EV market amid Tesla’s dominance.