The chief executive of electric car maker Lucid said on Thursday the company was considering raising prices on future models because of “enormous inflationary pressures,” but said it was committed to respecting prices for existing subscribers.
“Inevitably, we have to think about the price of the models that will be launched in the future,” said chief executive Peter Rawlinson, noting that nickel prices had soared after the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“I think it would be absolutely stupid to say we’ll never raise prices,” Rawlinso said in an interview.
“What we want to do is deliver on our promise to our existing pre-order customers. I think that’s why Rivian is not popular in the market,” he said.
He was referring to electric truck maker Rivian’s decision this month to raise prices on existing reservations, before changing plans after consumer protests.
Tesla Inc. recently raised car prices in the U.S. and China. Chief executive Elon Musk previously said the company was facing huge inflationary pressures on raw materials and logistics.
In February, Lucid lowered its production forecast for this year to 12,000 to 14,000 units from an initial 20,000 units, citing “enormous challenges in supply chain and logistics.” Shares in the company fell after the announcement.
Rawlinson said on Thursday that the bottlenecks were caused by a small number of suppliers of windshields, carpets and some exterior trim pieces.
“I’m very frustrated because we’re not limited by silicon chips and the ability to make electric motors,” Rawlinson said.
Switching to a different supplier for these parts would reduce quality, he said.
Given the cost of the battery pack, he questioned whether Rivian could be profitable for pickups without raising prices.
“I don’t think even we, with the best technology in the world, can make an affordable, affordable pickup,” he said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said this month that the company is working on its own electric pickup and the “main challenge” it faces is making it affordable. “If it’s hard for Tesla to do that, despite our larger economies and better technology, it’s almost impossible for everyone else,” Musk said.
Rawlinson also said that Lucid has begun producing battery prototypes in-house, adding that the company also has partnerships with battery suppliers Samsung and LG Energy.