Founded in 2014, Faraday Future wanted to become the next big thing in electric vehicles (EVs). And it always carried grand ambitions, aiming to produce its first EV in 2017 and eventually produce a larger range of vehicles. It even implied that it wanted to expand beyond EVs and into other aspects of the automotive and technology industries. But none of that seemed to pan out for Faraday, which now faces legal trouble, death threats, and misinformation that threaten to harm the company’s already shaky footing.
Faraday Future has struggled financially from the early days of the company. As far back as 2016, people have vocally questioned the company’s investment strategy and finances, and it has faced a series of problems.
In 2017, the company announced a $1 billion factory that never got built. It lost money and employees and even sold its headquarters at one point. The company has even seen its founder and former CEO, Jia Yueting, file for bankruptcy in the United States.
What is more baffling is that it has yet to offer a true product. Despite all the time and money, nothing substantial has come out of Faraday. But this is supposed to be the year everything comes together, with the launch of the FF 91 luxury electric car.
However, the FF 91 has also been mired in setbacks. The vehicle was supposed to start production earlier this year, but the date was pushed further into 2022. The company was also subpoenaed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March. The subpoena came down in relation to inaccurate statements made by employees to investors, which resulted in multiple pay cuts and personnel changes.
Faraday Future also faces legal action from FF Top Holding, a shareholder with a 20% stake and 36% of the voting rights. The lawsuit filed by FF Top is seeking the removal of two board members, Susan Swenson and Brian Krolicki. The lawsuit comes as part of a larger attempt to revamp the company’s board, which FF Top says has “driven the company into the ground.”
It is not the first sign of trouble for Swenson and Krolicki. Krolicki faced remedial action during the investigation of inaccurate statements to investors. Meanwhile, employees at the company have called for the removal of Swenson on the grounds that they believe she has attempted to “push the company into bankruptcy and restructuring.”
The lawsuit alleges that the two formed a faction that consolidated power after the company’s recent merger. They also wasted over $1 million in cash, lost $4.4 billion in market value, and have yet to deliver any road-ready vehicles.
However, according to Faraday, the allegations are part of a “misinformation campaign.” At least, the allegations that accuse “certain directors” of pursuing “unnecessary bankruptcy for their own personal gain.” The company even employed an independent law firm to investigate, which found nothing to support the allegations.
But the independent investigation has not calmed things down. The threats have only escalated, going from threats of lawsuits to threats of physical violence and death threats. Additionally, the company has said that the misinformation behind all of this has harmed its efforts to put the long-awaited FF 91 into production.
The company still hopes to release its FF 91 later this year, which the EPA rated at 381 miles on a full charge. But even if the vehicle is close to the finish line, only time will tell if it will ever see the light of day. The company still faces an uphill battle with its slew of troubles and a dire need for further funding to kick things into gear, making it seem more like a gamble than a sure thing.
Update 9/26: Shining a bright spot on Faraday’s future, the company has managed to overhaul its board, which has been the source of contention, including the lawsuits and threats. The agreement sees the largest shareholder, FF Top Holding, revoking its lawsuit under various terms, including replacing Susan Swenson and Brian Krolicki on the board. The company has also managed to land $100 million to help launch the FF 91, painting a more optimistic picture for the company’s future.
Spencer Hulse is a news desk editor at Grit Daily News. He covers startups, affiliate, viral, and marketing news.