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For all the planning, hype, and expectations surrounding startup EV manufacturer Lucid and its Air sedans, things have not gone as expected. The expectation was that customer orders would fly in, thanks to the Air’s competitive numbers, sleek styling, and positive reporting. But, no. For the first quarter of 2023, Lucid delivered only 1,400 EVs. 

How badly is Lucid Air missing its sales forecasts?

2023 Lucid Air Grand Touring in Quantum Grey
2023 Lucid Air Grand Touring in Quantum Grey | Lucid

At the end of 2022, Lucid announced plans for 2023 production to hit between 10,000 and 14,000 Air sedans. So extrapolating out, 1,400 in Q1 won’t cut it. At that pace, it hits around half the company’s lower year-end goal.

Earlier this year, Lucid boss Peter Rawlinson noted a “demand shortfall.” The initial result was cutting almost 20% of the automaker’s workforce. Lucid has seen its preorders plummet as potential buyers have cut bait and, presumably, purchased one of the many other new EVs rolling out every month lately. 

Is a new Lucid EV coming out soon?

Lucid dealership in Beverly Hills, California
Lucid dealership | Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Rather than seeing production rise in Q1, it has receded. In that period, Lucid completed almost 2,000 deliveries. That Q4 2022 period also resulted in a nearly $500 million net loss. 

As it looks for a rise in production and deliveries, Lucid also looks forward to its next model, the Gravity SUV. It’s expected to debut before the end of 2024. But without a healthy increase in production and deliveries, that might be an insurmountable time waiting for reinforcements. 

Two 2023 Lucid Air EV sedans in front of building
2023 Lucid Air electric sedans | Lucid

An earnings call will take place on May 11. According to Automotive News, investors were asked to submit questions before that date. The one receiving the most attention is about 2021 projections. 

“Peter, you have said, ‘I like to underpromise and like to overdeliver.’ When will we see underpromising and overdelivering? It has been the complete opposite so far.”

Yikes! Your friends at MotorBiscuit can probably give an answer close to what investors will hear.

How will Lucid address low Air production and sales?

Rawlinson will probably explain the ongoing problem no one envisioned in 2021. Reasons he might include could be fallout from the pandemic, supply shortages, increased material and operating costs, and Tesla’s price cuts enticing buyers away from Lucid. He could also blame inflation, high interest rates, and increases in the price of chickens and psychedelic mushrooms.

We’re kidding about the last two. But in other companies’ investor call-ins, the rest are popular explanations for low demand and missed forecasts. And honestly, some of those hurdles make predicting sales almost impossible.

White 2023 Lucid Air EV rear 3/4 view
2023 Lucid Air EV | Lucid

However, every manufacturer in the United States faces similar problems, especially automakers. All have remained in the game, with some having record sales within the past year. And one issue that will only worsen is that more new EVs will hit showrooms as time marches on. That takes exclusivity away from Lucid and bestows upon new entries a freshness fading from the Air.