(Yicai Global) Sept. 18 -- A US electric vehicle startup which may or may not include embattled Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting among its shareholders has secured USD1 billion from a sovereign wealth fund of the Saudi Arabian government.
The Public Investments Fund of Saudi Arabia will inject over USD1 billion into California-based new energy vehicle firm Lucid Motors, the fund said in a statement. The investment will help Lucid Motors to build a factory in Arizona to produce its first model, a USD100,000 luxury sedan called Lucid Air, which is slated for a 2020 release.
Founded in 2007 by ex-Tesla Board Member Bernard Tse and Sam Weng, a former marketing director at Oracle, Lucid Motors has received more than USD100 million from Asian investors. They include controversial Chinese businessman Jia Yueting, who previously ran up millions in arrears by mismanaging tech conglomerate LeEco. Jia invested about USD70 million in Lucid Motors in July 2014 before purchasing a 25 percent stake in the NEV maker from Beijing Automotive Industry Holding the year after. Jia’s 40 percent stake made him the company’s largest shareholder at the time.
Bloomberg reported that Jia sold off his stake in the enterprise in July last year, though there have been conflicting reports and it remains unclear if he is still involved.
Editor: William Clegg