Lucid Motors released an analyst day presentation last week as it drives toward closing its merger with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Churchill Capital IV (NYSE:CCIV), providing investors with a handful of important updates as it approaches the start of production for its Air sedan. The SPAC's shares have remained weak in recent weeks, lacking any major positive catalysts.
The slide deck included much of the same information as the one provided when the merger was announced. Here's what's new.
Reservations top 9,000
The nascent electric vehicle (EV) company said that total Air reservations have now topped 9,000. When the deal was first announced in February, Lucid had around 7,500 reservations, which climbed to 8,000 by the end of that month. Those reservations, which are fully refundable, represent over $800 million in potential sales if the company can execute and deliver.
Entering the final stretch before production
Lucid continues to refine its manufacturing processes to ensure high build quality. The company is already in pre-production and has made 74 pre-production vehicles thus far at its facility in Arizona. The production run for final quality validation is on schedule to kick off in June, with customer deliveries on track for the second half of the year. Testing and validation are progressing well, according to Lucid.
More stores and employees
There are currently six Lucid stores open, and another four are preparing to open their doors within the next two months. Those locations will be critical in building brand awareness. Additionally, Lucid has been aggressively hiring employees, including a new CFO, and now has over 2,000 employees in total.
Testing stationary storage
Lucid has plans to offer Energy Storage Systems (ESS), repurposing its batteries in the same way that Tesla does to serve the commercial, home, and utility energy storage markets. The company has now started to test ESS prototypes, with the batteries being integrated and tested with solar panels that are currently installed at Lucid's headquarters.
Pushing back the close
The deal was initially expected to close in the second quarter, but Lucid now believes that the transaction will be completed early in the third quarter. Once that occurs, the ticker symbol will change from "CCIV" to "LCID."
There were some recent misguided concerns that CEO Peter Rawlinson would not commit to Lucid's projections to deliver 20,000 vehicles in 2022 based on a media interview. The company has now effectively reaffirmed its forecasts, with some minor adjustments.
Instead of expecting to deliver precisely 577 vehicles this year, Lucid now expects to simply deliver less than 1,000. The previous projections had very specific volume forecasts. The company is now using round numbers, but the overall volume estimates are essentially unchanged.