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LUCID

SAUDI ARABIA - Industry

Peter Rawlinson

CEO & Chief Technology Officer, Lucid

Bio

Peter Rawlinson serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Lucid and has served on Lucid’s board of directors since April 2019. As CEO, Rawlinson is responsible for all strategic and business aspects of the company. As CTO, he is responsible for the creation and delivery of all Lucid products. He brings over 30 years of automotive industry experience to bear in these roles. Prior to Lucid, he was Vice President of Vehicle Engineering at Tesla and Chief Engineer of the Model S, where he led the engineering of the Model S from a clean sheet to production readiness while building the engineering team. A graduate of Imperial College, University of London, Rawlinson was formerly Head of Vehicle Engineering at Corus Automotive, Chief Engineer at Lotus Cars, and Principal Engineer at Jaguar Cars.

"We have signed an agreement with the Saudi Ministry of Finance for 50,000 units guaranteed and an additional 50,000, amounting to 100,000 units over a decade, and both our plants in Arizona and King Abdullah Economic City will contribute toward that goal."
TBY talks to Peter Rawlinson, CEO & Chief Technology Officer of Lucid, about export markets, working with the government, and goals for the coming years.
Can you elaborate on Lucid’s journey toward setting up the first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in the Kingdom?

Lucid’s story began in 2019 after PIF invested and became a majority shareholder in 2018. We were building a plant in the US at that time, and our goal was to successfully grow internationally. When scouting various locations around the world, we saw in Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 and the transformation that the country is moving toward: the Saudi green initiatives, the commitment to sustainability, clean energy, carbon neutrality, net zero emissions, and much more. All these measures were in complete alignment with what we have sought out to do. It was a marriage made in heaven. And we basically, took a decision at that time. We looked at many locations, spoke to many people, and we decided to start a discussion with the government.

Can you shed more light on Lucid’s manufacturing plant’s production capacity and what it represents to the country?

We have signed an agreement with the Saudi Ministry of Finance for 50,000 units guaranteed and an additional 50,000, amounting to 100,000 units over a decade, and both our plants in Arizona and King Abdullah Economic City will contribute toward that goal. Since it will be over a period of 10 years, we will gradually scale up this facility, where we currently assemble 5,000 vehicles per annum. In three years’ time, we will have a full complex of buildings in the country, just like our factory in Arizona. By then, its capacity will increase to 155,000 vehicles per annum, and between the two factories we can successfully contribute toward the target of 50,000 units.

Which regions or countries are you targeting in terms of exports from Saudi Arabia?

We are not limiting ourselves in terms of export destinations. Our goal when we eventually reach the full capacity of 150,000 vehicles is to export 85-87% of our vehicles. The GCC market is significant, though it is not large enough to absorb 150,000 vehicles. We will take into account the strategic location of King Abdullah Economic City on the Red Sea to eventually export to Europe, Africa, and beyond by utilizing the robust supply chain access by land and sea—which is one of the reasons we selected this location.

How is Lucid working together with the Saudi leadership in order to achieve both parties’ goals?

Saudi Arabia has been a key partnership right from the beginning. We have simply been amazed by the support we have received for this project from the government, semi-governmental entities, and the private sector. Lucid is enjoying that partnership, and we will continue to work with all parties to help them with the entire technology introduction, automotive manufacturing, and training local talent so they can contribute more. We have three key pillars for our industry: to develop efficient human capital, set up a supply chain that can increase local manufacturing, and bring in the right technology. I truly feel that Lucid can achieve all three goals with the help of the Saudi government.

How does the company address the challenge of human capital?

We have signed a USD50 million deal with the Human Resources Development Fund in the US to train Saudi human capital. We have started by sending groups of our Saudi workforce to our Arizona and California facilities, and the first batches have already returned and are currently working in various departments in Saudi Arabia, including the factory in Riyadh, the studio, and our showroom. We are extremely pleased with the effort we have invested, with the help of our partners, to get them trained in the right skillsets and contribute toward this high-tech industry.

Looking ahead, what main pillars do you plan to achieve in the coming year?

Our goals were simple—to set up the entity in Saudi Arabia, which we have achieved, and work on the sales, marketing, and service side, which we have also achieved via our flagship showroom. The second goal was to expand the manufacturing assembly facility, which we completed in record time. In 16 months, we now have full coverage in the country with our factory up and running. We are breaking records in the region, and starting in 2024, we will have a studio in Jeddah and then later in Dubai and other Gulf countries. We will gradually build up our networks and give customers the ability to drive this dream machine.

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