Foundation research

Foundation stone laid for Lucid’s first factory in Saudi Arabia

U.S.-based Lucid Motors on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for its first-ever electric car factory outside the United States at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) in the western Saudi town of Rabigh.

Industry and Mineral Resources Minister Bandar Alkhorayef announced that Saudi Arabia aims to manufacture more than 300,000 cars per year by 2030.

He said it during the inauguration ceremony on Wednesday. The electric vehicle giant’s first international factory at KAEC aims to manufacture 150,000 vehicles per year.

Alkhorayef, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), said Lucid’s choice of Saudi Arabia as the location of its first factory in the Middle East confirms the Kingdom’s competitiveness and its ability to exploit a number of advantages from which it benefits.

These advantages are the distinguished geographical location and the ability to connect to many regional and global markets, in addition to good infrastructure and quality of services. The KAEC factory aims to export more than 85% of its production.

According to the minister, the automotive industry file in the Kingdom is one of the important files that the national strategy for the industry has taken into account because it is one of the complex industries that contribute to the development of the chains. supply for many products.

“The Kingdom aims to manufacture cars to cover local demand and export worldwide. The volume of expenditure on cars in the Kingdom in the year 2020 reached almost SR 40 billion while Saudi Arabia exceeds more than half a million cars per year, which represents 50% of the Gulf market,” he said.

He noted that the SIDF provided funding for the construction of the Lucid factory, worth over SAR 5 billion.

Alkhorayef said the establishment of a new manufacturing center for the Lucid company in Saudi Arabia is in line with the Kingdom’s guidelines to diversify the economic base, especially the development of the industrial sector.

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the Lucid project is vital in its investment value, the resulting added value and its impact on the balance of payments, increasing exports, contributing environmental transformation and reducing carbon emissions. of the Kingdom.

Al-Falih added to Asharq Al-Awsat that the most important impact of the project is that it boosts the value chain in high-tech industries. Electric cars are modern, advanced technology, and they are evolving. He explained that Lucid is known to be the best in this field, in terms of the efficiency of vehicles, batteries and the technologies they contain and carry.

“The expected impact will affect industries other than the automotive industry, as it will also boost scientific research, product development and the associated supply chains of basic materials, whether metals industries, iron, aluminum and plastics,” Al-Falih said. .

For his part, Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson said another important step in Lucid’s journey to drive the adoption of sustainable energy technologies and solutions has been launched with the new plant in Saudi Arabia.

“The new manufacturing facility is beginning to support this trend from its headquarters in Saudi Arabia,” Rawlinson said.

“We are delighted to collaborate with the Public Investment Fund and the Saudi government on agreements to support our shared vision in the area of ​​global sustainability,” he added.

The Saudi government had agreed to buy between 50,000 and 100,000 electric vehicles within ten years from Lucid Motors, which is part-owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), the finance ministry said in a press release. press in September 2021.

The deal is part of the Vision 2030 plan to diversify away from fossil fuels and create a more sustainable society.

Lucid currently manufactures cars at a plant in Arizona, and the KAEC plant would assemble its electric vehicles. The plant should eventually build up to 150,000 electric vehicles per year.

The two factories will build the new vehicles ordered by the Saudi government. The KAEC factory will provide thousands of jobs for Saudis. PIF owns 61% of the Californian company Lucid.