(Yicai Global) Dec. 18 -- Faraday & Future Inc., the US electric vehicle startup backed and headed by controversial Chinese investor Jia Yueting, has secured equity financing of USD1 billion.
Jia announced the news at an employee meeting on Dec. 13 in Los Angeles. He also said he will take the reins as chief executive at the firm, a position which has been vacant for four years, and conduct an organizational reform in his new role to ensure the implementation of corporate strategies, Securities Daily reported today.
LeEco, the struggling conglomerate that Jia founded in China, has been mired in financial crisis, which is also affecting Faraday Future and stirring speculation it has run out of cash and will have to shut down plants and lay off workers. The US-based carmaker said in July that it had ended construction of a Nevada factory and planned to renovate an old plant in Hanford, California to be its lead production base.
However, it still hasn't begun refurbishing the factory. During a visit this month, a journalist from online Chinese news outlet The Paper found only a security engineer on site, and couldn't see any production equipment.
Faraday Future plans to deliver its first mass-produced vehicle by the end of next year, Jia has said and reiterated several times. According to the plans, the company will have finished the California factory and installed machinery to build the cars early next year, though that doesn't look likely at the moment.
Chinese courts placed Jia on a blacklist of defaulters earlier this month after he failed to repay CNY480 million (USD73 million) to Ping An Securities Group Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0231].