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Faraday Future Founder Defies Beijing’s Return Order To China, Remains In U.S. 3
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in china, Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports on 01 3rd, 2018

The founder of LeEco and Faraday Future Jia Yueting has defied a recent order from China’s regulators to return to the country by the end of 2017, saying his presence was required in the United States as FF’s fundraising was making progress.

Jia released a statement on his official WeChat account which said that he asked his brother, Jia Yuemin, to meet with the regulator and provide a report.

“I am deeply sorry and blame myself for the negative impact of LeEco’s debt crisis,” he said. “The fundraising for Faraday Future in the United States is making significant progress and there are many tasks I need to push forward in order to ensure the production and timely delivery of the FF91.”

LeEco is currently struggling to pay its debts, following a rapid expansion that caused a cash crunch, leading to the company owing creditors 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) at its peak, Reuters reports.

Jia claimed in a Faraday Future that the EV startup company has managed to raise more than $1 billion, without announcing the name of its investors, while a Chinese court seized his assets in the country.


Faraday Future Continues To Promote FF 91 Despite Financial Turmoil 29
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Film, Reports, video on 12 29th, 2017

The financial state of Faraday Future has been dominating the headlines in recent months but the electric startup is continuing to promote its first proposed production vehicle, the FF 91 crossover.

In this most recent video, Faraday outlines how important aerodynamics were in designing the car, noting that a 10 per cent reduction in aerodynamic drag results in a 5 per cent improvement in range.

As such, Faraday Future used wind tunnels frequently during the development of the electric crossover, helping to create a vehicle that looks unlike anything else on the market and reportedly attracted over 64,000 reservations just days after the FF 91’s world premiere.

Faraday claims that its production-spec FF 91 will use a 130 kWh battery pack joined by four electric motors and producing a combined 1050 hp and 1800 Nm of torque, enough to accelerate the large crossover to 62 mph in a mere 2.39 seconds. An EPA-estimated range of 378 miles has also been touted by the manufacturer.

On paper, the specs of the FF 91 seem very promising. However, they remain nothing more than words on a page and will stay like that if the startup isn’t able to dramatically turn around its struggling finances.


Court Seizes Faraday Future Founder’s Assets In China 28
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in china, Faraday Future, LeEco, Reports on 12 28th, 2017

Faraday Future Jia Yueting’s troubles with the law keep pilling as a court has seized all of his assets it could find in China.

The Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court has seized more than $200,000 in bank deposits and is currently eyeing Jia’s shares in the publicly listed Leshi Internet, as well as two Beijing properties, Bloomberg reports.

The court said that it seized Jia’s assets after agreeing to a demand from a securities firm that claims Faraday Future and LeEco boss owes them more than $30 million.

Jia Yueting has no other bank deposits, housing registration records or automobile registration records that the court can execute upon,” the Beijing court said in its statement. The court didn’t share any details of the securities firm’s complaint except to say it involved an alleged failure to honor obligations.

It’s not clear where Jia is at the moment, with the last report saying that he announced during a Faraday Future meeting that they managed to raise more than $1 billion in financing without giving out the names of the investors.

China’s authorities have ordered Jia to return to the country and sort out his huge debts accrued by his various companies.


Faraday Future Boss Ordered To Return To China To Pay Off Debt 27
Posted by Brad Anderson in china, CSRC, Faraday Future, LeEco, Reports on 12 27th, 2017

Faraday Future and LeEco boss Jia Yueting may have recently secured a $1 billion investment for his Californian EV startup but he still has a few personal issues plaguing his business ventures.

Reuters reports that Yueting has been ordered by China’s securities regulator to return to his home country and sort out huge debts accrued by his various companies.

In a notice issued to Yueting late on Christmas day, China said be must return to China by December 31 and “fullfill his obligation” and protect investors’ rights. This notice follows on from a similar request in September for Yueting to pay off his debts but that government order went unanswered.

According to the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC), Yueting’s behavior is hurting his companies.

“Firms you control owe huge amounts to listed companies, which has not yet been returned. This behavior seriously harms the legal rights of listed firms and the personal interests of a wide range of investors.”

A spokesman from LeEco claims Yueting’s behavior won’t have a major impact on the company.


Ex-Faraday Future Employees Create New EV Startups 22
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports, Tech on 12 22nd, 2017

Numerous former employees and executives at Faraday Future have formed two electric vehicle startups.

According to Jalopnik, the likes of Faraday’s former head of design operations and advanced model development, Steve Osario, as well as former senior FF manager Steven Offutt, have banded together to form Indi EV alongside a number of other former Faraday employees.

In a brief filing to the California Secretary of State, Indi EV said it is focused on the business of electric vehicle design and manufacturing but failed to provide further specifics. The company’s website asserts that Indi EV will become one of the independent brands which customers turn to in the world of electric vehicles, rather than existing auto manufacturers.

Alongside Indi EV, another startup has been created, this time thanks to former Faraday Future chief financial officer Stefan Krause. Dubbed Evelozcity, the company was incorporated just three weeks after Krause left FF and has apparently recruited a flock of former FF executives and employees. On the firm’s website, it says it’s aiming to “Design, develop and deliver the most competitive, capable, connected and clean mobility device for the next generation.”

Faraday’s former head design Richard Kim is reportedly joining Krause at Evelozcity.


Faraday Future Boss Allegedly Created $75 Million Trust For Children With Company Money 22
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports on 12 22nd, 2017

A software developer has accused Faraday Future boss and financier Jia Yueting of creating a $75 million trust fund for his children with company money.

The allegations were first reported by The Verge. Outspoken Washington-based software developer Gu Yingqiong publicly shared what he claims was a draft copy of a $75 million trust fund that the Chinese billionaire set up for his children with money from “Faraday Future’s coffers.”

Less than one month later, Yueting filed a lawsuit against Yingqiong, claiming that the allegations were false and that Yingqiong’s behavior is “a continuous and systematic effort by an individual to intimidate, harass, and defame a stranger over the internet.”

Yueting filed his lawsuit in California in October but it was dismissed due to a procedural issue. Shortly after, the tech billionaire filed for a temporary injunction in Washington and a libel lawsuit.

While Yingqiong’s allegations haven’t been independently verified, they do come at a particularly tumultuous time for the electric startup. In recent months, over half a dozen senior executives have left the company. Despite this, Faraday Future claims to have recently secured $1 billion in additional funding.


Faraday Future Reportedly Secures $1 Billion In Funding 20
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports on 12 20th, 2017

Faraday Future founder and Chinese investor Jia Yueting claims that the electric startup has secured $1 billion in additional funding.

Yicai Global says that Yueting made the announcement during an employee meeting on December 13 in Los Angeles while also confirming that he will step up to become the company’s chief executive.

No details have been published about where Faraday Future secured the funding from. Last month, reports surfaced that the company had received $900 million from Tata Motors but just a couple of days later, Tata denied investing a single cent in FF.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that Faraday Future had been driven into the ground by Yueting and was unlikely to keep its payroll afloat through to the end of the year unless a new investor could be found.

What’s more, at least half a dozen high-ranking Faraday Future executives have left the company in recent months, including three of the five ‘founding executives’ of the proposed Tesla rival. The brand’s chief financial officer Stefan Krause and chief technology officer Ulrich Kranz also both tendered their resignations in October.

According to at least one former employee, Faraday Future has struggled party due to the behavior and business practices of Jia Yueting, including his lack of understanding of Western practices. He was also recently blacklisted in China.


Chinese Government Blacklists Faraday Future’s Boss Jia Yueting 14
Posted by Brad Anderson in china, Faraday Future, LeEco, Reports on 12 14th, 2017

Billionaire businessman Jia Yueting has been placed on an online blacklist of credit defaulters by the Chinese government.

Yueting, best known in the automotive world as the primary backer behind Faraday Future and the man behind LeEco, has rapidly expanded his business interests in recent years, branching out into smartphones and even sports broadcasting.

However, Yueting has now been named and shamed by being placed on the blacklist by China’s top court over unpaid debt totaling $72 million, owed to brokerage firm Ping An Securities. In recent times, two units of LeEco have also been blacklisted for unpaid debts. By being blacklisted, Yueting can be blocked from flying, traveling on high-speed trains, and prevented from making large purchases.

The New York Times reports that officials from China have become concerned with the huge levels of debt accrued by local governments, state-run companies, and brash tycoons like Yueting, thus leading to the creation of the blacklist.

This isn’t the first time Yueting has been at the center of controversy regarding his finances. In July, a court in China froze $187 million of the billionaire’s assets due to LeEco’s repeated failure to pay interest due on loans.


Insiders Claim Faraday Future Is On The Verge Of Bankruptcy 14
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports on 12 14th, 2017

The financial difficulties of Faraday Future are well known and in a new investigative report, The Verge has uncovered the full breadth of issues facing the electric carmaker.

The publication has spoken with 10 former employees of Faraday Future and one person close to the company. These unnamed sources, most of whom have left the startup in the last 15 months, claim the business has been brought to a halt, predominately due to the behavior and business practices of its chief investor, Jia Yueting.

Four high-level ex-employees with intimate knowledge of Faraday’s finances claim the company only has enough funds to keep its payroll afloat through to the end of the year, unless a new injection of cash can be found. One of these former employees claims that Yueting is still searching for new investors and may have secured a new round of funding.

The Verge further reports that Yueting has insisted on keeping money, intellectual property, and employees flowing freely between Faraday Future and the electric car effort of LeEco he is pursuing in China. Worryingly, it is claimed that the vice president of administration, Chaoying Deng, has been left in charge of the money, despite limited experience with running the accounting of such a large company.

According to one former employee, Faraday Future has consistently told its employees that more money is coming but has failed to deliver on its promises.

“It was always, ‘Don’t worry, the money’s coming next month, the money’s coming next month, keep going, keep going, keep going,” the former employee said.

Beyond the lack of money, it appears as if morale among employees has reached a tipping point, with many refusing to come to work. In fact, it is claimed that on November 20th, there were so few staff at the company’s California headquarters that when Yueting arrived for an investor’s meeting, Faraday’s head of go-to market strategy was forced to send an email to employees reminding them of company work hours.

“During my time at Faraday, the company lacked an empowered CEO and COO,” said Syed Rahman, a former employee in the financial planning and analysis department.

“This, combined with a lack of understanding of Western business practices, fact-based decision making, and compliance issues, exacerbated the problems. The automotive business is highly capital-intensive with low margins, and [with] a lack of effective leadership, success in this arena is not possible,” Rahman said.

If you have a spare 30-minutes, check out the full story in the link above.


Faraday Future Loses Chief Designer Richard Kim 7
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports on 12 7th, 2017

Things appears to be going from bad to worse for Faraday Future with confirmation that the brand’s design chief, Richard Kim, has resigned from the electric car startup.

The Verge reports that Kim tendered his resignation on Tuesday last week.

Kim’s departure is a huge blow for the company as he was the man behind the design of the FF 91, the brand’s first model. He came to the startup from BMW, where he was responsible for designing both the i3 and i8.

Kim was one of the five ‘founding executives’ at the carmaker. In the last four months, three of these executives have resigned, first with the head of HR Alan Cherry and then the head of FF’s supply chain group Tom Wessner. Only Nick Sampson and Dag Reckhorn remain.

These aren’t the only key executives to leave the company in recent months. In October, the brand’s chief financial officer Stefan Krause and chief technology officer Ulrich Kranz both tendered their resignations.

It seems increasingly likely that these executives are fleeing a sinking ship before everything goes belly-up.


Ex-Faraday Future Employee Claims Startup Dismissed Sexual Harrassment Allegations 5
Posted by Brad Anderson in Faraday Future, Reports on 12 5th, 2017

A security guard who previously worked at Faraday Future claims she was sexually harassed by an IT administrator and that the company dismissed her multiple complaints.

In a lawsuit, plaintiff Genesis Reyes alleges that Josue Alejandro Sanchez repeatedly approached her during work hours and asked for her personal information. At the time, Reyes says she was working in a single person security booth at the startup’s Californian headquarters.

Reyes further claims that Sanchez often “stared at [her] in a sexual way” and once followed her to the bathroom and waited outside the door for her. Following Reyes’ denial to provide her personal information to Sanchez, the defendant reportedly stole her work schedule and was able to find her phone number, repeatedly sending her text messages until she blocked his number, The Verge reports.

Reyes says that she brought verbal and written complaints to both Faraday Future and her employer G4S Secure Solutions. However, a supervisor at Faraday Future allegedly told her that “Sanchez simply had a ‘crush’” on her and that she was “inviting the harassment.” Shortly after issuing these complaints, Reyes was given a written warning in April 2017 and fired in May 2017.

In an email to The Verge, the lawyer for Reyes, James Urbanic, said the ex-employee wants to expose how Faraday Future and G4S operate.

“What kind of message does a company send when it fires a woman who has mustered up the courage to complain? The time has come to expose common corporate policies of “zero tolerance” as empty promises,” Urbanic said.

Responding to the lawsuit, Faraday Future simply said “We will not comment on ongoing litigation.”


Formula E Departure The Latest Sign Of Trouble For Faraday Future 28
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Faraday Future, Formula E on 11 28th, 2017

Things haven’t been going well for Faraday Future recently. Now the startup automaker has reportedly canceled its involvement in Formula E.

According to Autosport, the company’s partnership with the Dragon Racing team has come to an end, the automaker’s name dropped from the entry for next season.

It’s just the latest sign of trouble for the electric automaker that is increasingly looking like a flash in the pan, destined to die out before actually producing anything. The company surfaced three years ago with lofty ambitions, but recently had to cancel its plans for a new production site in Nevada and watch five of its senior executives walk out the front door.

The reasons for Faraday’s split with Dragon, however, may not be as much about the former’s troubles as the latter’s. The team run by Roger Penske’s media-savvy son Jay left the IndyCar Series for Formula E in 2014 (around the same time that Faraday first appeared on the scene), showing strong in the first couple of seasons with two wins and six additional podiums.

But its performance dropped off drastically last season, yielding a solitary best fifth-place finish to end the season in eighth place – a far cry from the runner-up status it achieved in the championship’s inaugural season.

That could leave Faraday in a position to participate in other ways, including sponsoring races (as it did with the 2016 Long Beach ePrix) or shift its focus to other forms of motorsport (as it has at Pikes Peak). We wouldn’t count on it, though.

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Tata Motors Denies Faraday Future Investment 16
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports, Tata on 11 16th, 2017

Hot on the heels of reports from China claiming that Tata Motors had invested $900 million in Faraday Future for a 10 per cent stake in the electric startup, a Tata spokesperson has completely denied any investment.

DNA India reached out to Tata about the Faraday Future investment and were told, “The news is not true and hence we do not have any comment.”

It was initially reported that the investment would provide Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover with access to the advanced technologies created by Faraday Future, including connectivity systems it’s developed with Chinese backer LeEco.

The Tata investment would have come at a particularly tumultuous time for the electric startup promising to take on Tesla. Not only have a host of high-ranking executives left Faraday Future in recent weeks, but the company has tried and failed to attract any substantial investments.


Faraday Future Reportedly Receives $900 Million From Tata 14
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports, Tata on 11 14th, 2017

After months of turmoil, it appears as though electric car startup Faraday Future has caught a huge break following a healthy investment from Tata Motors.

Chinese media outlet Gasgoo claims that the carmaker has attracted $900 million in funding from Tata Motors for a 10 per cent stake in the company, essentially valuing it at $9 billion.

While neither firm has commented on the reports, such an investment could prove fruitful for both carmakers. Not only could such a substantial chunk of money keep Faraday Future above water, it could also give Tata access to many of FF’s advanced technologies, including connectivity systems it has developed with Chinese backer LeEco.

Just a couple of days after unveiling its first proposed production model, the FF 91, Faraday claimed it had received over 64,000 reservations but failed to reveal how many of those orders included the optional $5,000 refundable deposit.

Yesterday, reports surfaced that the startup has lost five key executives in recent weeks.


Faraday Future Loses Five Senior Executives 13
Posted by Brad Anderson in Electric Vehicles, Faraday Future, Reports, Tech on 11 13th, 2017

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for troubled startup Faraday Future, it has been revealed that five senior executives have left, or are leaving, the company.

Jalopnik revealed in October that the company’s director of interior design and brand, Pontus Fontaeus, recently left the firm. Just a couple of days prior, Faraday’s head of supply chain management, Tom Wessner, resigned. Three more scalps have been added to that list.

The startup has revealed that its chief financial officer, Stefan Krause, resigned on October 14 but no reason for his decision has been made public.

Krause, a former executive at both BMW and Deutsche Bank, joined Faraday Future in March in a bid to court investors and raise money for the company’s ambitious production plans and its first model, the FF 91. The startup failed to secure any major funding because Chinese billionaire backer Jia Yueting refused to release his grasp on the company.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, two other executives are said to be on their way out, The Verge reports. The first, chief technology officer Ulrich Kranz, formerly of BMW, is allegedly leaving or has already left the company. What’s more, former Ford Fusion program leader Bill Strickland is said to be on his way out.