Image credit: Jenny Nilsson.
Faraday Future, the electric vehicle manufacturer that recently went public, has been pulling together a new leadership team across all departments — including engineering, product, and design — as the company goes full steam ahead on the production of its FF 91 model vehicles.
The company is starting to find its footing again after it collapsed in on itself a few years ago. Launched in 2014 by the Chinese billionaire Jia “YT” Yueting, Faraday Future, or FF, was positioned to be the leader in the EV market as the next Tesla.
Its luxury tech FF 91 autonomous vehicles made headlines at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2017, yet they were never produced. Scores of executives left the company, a plan for a billion-dollar factory in Nevada was abandoned and Yueting filed for bankruptcy in 2019.
Now, with new leadership and a $3.4 billion SPAC merger that listed the company on the NASDAQ, the company has been given a new life. It raised enough capital to start the mass production of its highly-anticipated FF 91 models, which will be entirely electric and focus on what FF calls the “Third Internet Living Space,” or innovations designed to make the vehicles more autonomous and AI-friendly.
The first of the FF 91 cars will be available sometime in 2022. To meet that deadline, FF has hired all across the automotive industry to pull in a new team of executive leadership to get mass production rolling at its Hanford, California factory by the end of the year. Check out our roundup of all the industry veterans joining the FF team below.
In the beginning of September, Faraday Future announced Matt Tall as its new VP of Manufacturing. Tall has over 29 years of manufacturing experience and comes from Rivian, the EV startup backed by Amazon. Now at Faraday, he will lead all facets of the company’s manufacturing and production with a hyperfocus on the Hanford plant.
A week after Tall was brought in, Faraday named Liu Yuchao as its new VP of Supply Chain in China. China is proving to be a booming market for electric vehicles and Faraday is looking to compete with brands like Nio and Xpeng in an increasingly crowded market. More than 81,000 new Chinese businesses related to “new energy vehicles” surged this year, according to business database Qichacha.
Yuchao will oversee FF’s supply chain in China and brings an impressive background working in a number of senior roles in operations and procurement at several Chinese automobile manufacturers, including Changan Ford Mazda, Chery Jaguar Land Rover and Ford Motor China.
On September 13, FF announced four more new hires. “We’re continuing to add unique and innovative perspectives to our team as we work to revolutionize the industry,” CEO Carsten Breitfeld said in a press release.
Among the new hires is Harjeet Gill, Director of Safety, CAE (Computer-Aided Engineering), Homologation and Testing. His role will focus on ensuring that safety and regulatory standards are top priorities for every technology, feature and product that FF develops.
Gill came from Lordstown Motors, a rival American EV startup that went through a chaotic leadership switch earlier this year. He previously worked in battery and autonomous testing at General Motors, and was a manager overseeing occupant safety, restraints and crash testing at Tesla.
Xinbao Gao joins from Karma Automotive as the Senior Director of Energy Storage and Charging. Gao has more than 15 years of experience in developing the lithium-Ion battery system solutions for electric vehicle applications, and will continue battery development efforts at FF.
As Head of Software Engineering, ADAS and Self Driving, Fan Wang will oversee the driving experience inside the new car models in FF’s suite of advanced driver assistance systems. Wang served as the head of the Autonomous Driving Center in Vingroup, the largest conglomerate in Vietnam, where he led the development and deployment of autonomous driving solutions for its production vehicles.
Lastly, Chuck Russell joins the team as Head of Vehicle Quality. His new role will oversee all quality measures inside the FF 91 models. He previously worked as President of Cornerstone Technical Solutions, which specializes in technical, operational, program management and product solutions for automotive and manufacturing clients.
The new FF 91 model vehicles are already available for reservation on FF’s website and are expected to hit the market in 2022.
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