According to Reuters, Lucid Motors, based near Apple’s old turf in Fremont, California, is the real target of Saudi Arabia. Tesla founder Elon Musk claimed that Saudi Arabia was planning to fund a bid to take Tesla private — which would have cost $72 billion for the stock buyout and a few billion more to deal with the company’s steep and constant expenditures.
In return for around $90 billion, in other words, the Saudis would get an electric car company with poor quality products, an unstable leader, a few lawsuits, an SEC investigation, and lots of new competitors including Maserati, Audi, Porsche, and Jaguar.
Lucid makes a bit more sense; the company costs far less, for one thing, with “just” $1 billion needed for a majority share. The first “bite” would be $500 million, with higher investments coming once Lucid reached various milestones. On the down side, Lucid hasn’t started actual production yet, with a prototype $100,000 sedan unveiled two years ago. Perhaps Lucid isn’t quite as sensible after all; it all depends on the company’s technology and people.
Taking Tesla private would be good for Elon Musk, if not for anyone else; he wouldn’t have to release much information on production and profitability to the general public. Full Reuters article.
The author of books on the Dodge Viper, Jeep pickups and wagons, and Chrysler minivans (as well as a kid’s book about early Jeeps), David Zatz has been writing about cars and trucks since the early 1990s; he also writes on organizational development and business at toolpack.com and covers Mac statistics software at macstats.org. His latest book, for kids, is Meet the Jeep.
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