Forget about the marketing and focus on how Lucid will make its cars.
Peter Rawlinson is not only Lucid’s CEO but also the company’s CTO: Chief Technical Officer. That said, he must know every bit of every process the company developed to create its cars. Yet, he managed to play surprised in this video in which Peter Hochholdinger, Lucid’s VP of Manufacturing, presents the production processes of AMP-1. Forget about the marketing attempt and focus on the real deal: how Lucid will make its cars.
The visit to the plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, allowed us to see the factory is pretty ordinary in most of its aspects. All car manufacturing sites have a body shop, a paint shop, and a general assembly area. Far from being a disappointment, this can be a relief for investors: Lucid will follow a well-known recipe for making its cars.
Not by chance, most of the video describes the paint shop. When AMP-1 is at full production capacity, it will be able to handle 365,000 vehicles per year. In this first phase, it will paint 34,000 cars annually. Lucid already presented the paint shop in a previous video, and it seems to be pretty proud of its quality, an Achilles’ heel for some of its competitors.
The body shop presents a few innovations, such as the own robots working as fixture stations. Fixtures are fundamental for the body geometry to be absolutely perfect. Any deviation on any side will represent problems with gaps, water leaks, and wind noise, apart from other unpredictable issues. That means these robots have to be very, very precise.
Finally, the assembly line shows that the battery pack joins the body at the end of the process. If it were a structural component, it would have to be integrated into the vehicle much earlier. Although that presents advantages in cost, it may penalize serviceability.
Lucid is promising to give its customers an impeccable car. It even postponed deliveries to make sure the first Air owners will not regret being early adopters. Let’s hope that is not just marketing talk.
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