July 13, 2024
Lucid’s customer experience chief leaves amid layoffs

Lucid Motors layoffs are hitting across all levels of the electric vehicle startup, including its head of customer experience, Len Devanna, who announced his exit on social media.

“During my two plus years with the company, I’ve had the pleasure of working with one of the most passionate and dedicated groups of people,” Devanna wrote Tuesday on Twitter. “Together, we took a company public, brought the world’s best EV to market and shattered every record for efficiency, performance and innovation.”

In announcing the layoffs last week, Lucid said the reductions would affect every organizational level, including executives. About 1,300 workers, or 18 percent of the work force, were laid off, Lucid said.

On LinkedIn, former employees announcing their departures included assembly crew, software and manufacturing engineers, quality inspectors, recruiters and retail workers. Many are now seeking positions in the automotive or tech industries, according to their posts.

Lucid has not announced first-quarter production or delivery numbers, but Cox Automotive forecast sales of 1,344 Air sedans in the January-March period. Lucid sells just one luxury model in multiple trims.

January registration data from Experian showed the Air had 553 registrations. The automaker gave 2023 guidance for 14,000 deliveries but has warned of falling demand.

CEO Peter Rawlinson said on a February earnings call that much of his focus has shifted from solving manufacturing issues that were holding back production to raising brand awareness to stimulate sales.

Lucid’s order backlog fell to 28,000 in February from 34,000 late last year. The preorders are nonbinding, and deposits of $300 to $1,000, depending on the model, are refundable.

The EV maker, which is majority-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, reported a net loss of $473 million in the fourth quarter on revenue of $258 million.

In announcing the layoffs, Rawlinson said the company was implementing a cost reduction plan “given evolving business needs and productivity improvements.”

Lucid is based in Newark, Calif., and its factory is located near Phoenix. The Air sedan starts at $89,050 with shipping. Tesla’s competing Model S — with more equipment — starts at $91,630, with shipping, after two price cuts this year totaling $15,000.

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