This article was originally published by John Faulkner on Clean Fleet Report, a publication that gives its readers the information they need to move to cars and trucks with best fuel economy, including electric cars, fuel cells, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and advanced diesel and gasoline engines.
The VIP EV sales experience
One thing Lucid Motors knows is its customer. They know this person has means, is accustomed to the finer things, and is not opposed to being recognized for their accomplishments. In other words, treated like a VIP. Lucid takes this to the Nth degree with the buying process for one of its luxury electric cars. Welcome to the Lucid Studio.
The Lucid Studio experience
If you are interested in shopping the Lucid Air there will be no casually walking up to one, or several, on a dealer lot or in a showroom. First, you will set an appointment at one of the four California Lucid Studios currently open in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, San Jose, and Newark either by calling 1-844-367-7787 or emailing [email protected]. There may even be a credit check, then an appointment will be set. You’re buying directly from the manufacturer.
Clean Fleet Report visited the Beverly Hills location, which is unlike any previous car buying experience. To begin, signage on the building is near non-existent, so just look for the address. Once the doors are unlocked, a factory representative greets you, and the elegant interior space envelopes your senses with wood, glass, dark tile, and an industrial, open ceiling rafter design. The richness feel sets the tone to learn about the high-tech Lucid Air. It will eventually be a sales and service location.
Lucid Motors initially is taking orders for four models, which are hand built to each customer’s specifications at the company’s new Arizona manufacturing site (more on that later). All pricing is before any federal tax credits or state rebates.
Lucid Air Dream Edition
- 1,080 horsepower
- 465-mile driving range
- $7,500 refundable deposit
- Spring 2021 delivery
Lucid Air Grand Touring
- 800 horsepower
- 517-mile driving range
- $1,000 refundable deposit
- Spring/summer 2021 delivery
Lucid Air Touring
- 620 horsepower
- 406-mile driving range
- $1,000 refundable deposit
- Fall 2021 delivery
Lucid Air Pure
- 480 horsepower
- 406-mile driving range
- $300 refundable deposit
- 2022 delivery
Once granted an appointment, don’t be surprised if you don’t see a Lucid Air in the Studio, though it looks like the company’s intent is to have models to show. The experience will be primarily using virtual reality (VR), where you will get to see and configure the interior options of fabric, wood, and metals, and select an exterior color. You then have choices of a Lucid Air with single or dual motors, different horsepower ratings, and driving ranges as detailed in the four models listed above.
The VR element involves adorning a VR headset while sitting in a Lucid Air interior mock-up. The VR experience will take you through the car, its features, and even a virtual drive. Lucid also plans to offer a “home version” for those who’d like to configure their car at home. In that version a Lucid salesperson will guide the viewer through the optional features of the car.
What is a Lucid Air?
Lucid Motors claims the Air will be faster and more efficient than a Tesla Model S–the quickest production sedan available. (Of course, Tesla responded by teasing the introduction of a Plaid version of the S that would narrow that gap.) From the outside it is a four-door sedan, with a clean modern design. The interior features the latest in technology, and the expansive backseat is ready for executives to be whisked in silence to their next important meeting.
The Lucid Air certainly is a very modern and contemporary car, and the company hopes that will be enough as sedans fall increasingly out of favor with American consumers. Lucid intends to address the market shift with its next model, the Gravity luxury SUV, which was teased at the launch of the Air last year.
Next up for Lucid Motors
The biggest news for Lucid is it now has a place to build its cars. The first phase of its greenfield assembly plant, being built in Casa Grande, Arizona, is scheduled to go online in early 2021. Capable of building 30,000 units in its current configuration, further phases will ramp-up production to 400,000 units. Lucid built its full beta test fleet in the plant and is now shifting to production models. The manufacturing system at the plant, which has been dubbed AMP-1 (for Advanced Manufacturing Plant), uses advanced processes such as an aircraft-inspired riveted and bonded monocoque body that replaces spots welds.
To handle all that manufacturing capacity, Lucid has plans to open 20 additional Studios these markets.
- Arizona – Scottsdale
- California – Torrance, Millbrae, San Diego, San Rafael, Orange
- Colorado – Denver
- Florida – West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Miami
- Illinois – Oak Brook
- Massachusetts – Boston
- Michigan – Coldwater
- New York – Long Island, Manhattan
- Texas – Houston, Dallas
- Virginia – Tysons
- Washington – Seattle
The bottom line
Lucid Motors is playing in some lofty and unknown territory. Launching an all-new vehicle from an all-new car company, and building an all-new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility before there are any sales shows some serious moxie (and deep pockets).
The company knows the automotive market over the next 5 – 10 years will see more and more electric vehicles introduced, so being on the forefront with the fastest sedan with excellent driving range, is a great way to be a leader. But with the first offering to the public having an eye-popping price of $169,000, the prospective owner base is very small. When one of them makes an appointment to visit a Lucid Studio, they had better place an order.
Lucid Motors is a luxury electric car company with no time for lookie-loos or those who just want to kick the tires. The Air is a serious vehicle for a discriminating buyer, a buyer Lucid is confident will be impressed with the craftsmanship, performance, and driving range.
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