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Lucid Motors has opened in Canada. Now what? A have a look at the automaker’s plan

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Lucid Motors from California has opened its first Canadian showroom, giving prosperous electric-vehicle consumers an alternative choice to Tesla and choices from Germany-based luxurious manufacturers.

The downtown “studio” — within the CF Pacific Centre Mall in Vancouver — opened Oct. 16. The corporate plans to open an outlet in Yorkdale Buying Centre in suburban Toronto, and a Montreal-area showroom at an unannounced location, each in early 2022.

Lucid mentioned it’s responding to sturdy curiosity from Canadians who’ve signed as much as reserve one in all Lucid’s Air sedans, with beginning costs starting from $105,000 to $229,000.

“We do count on to see sturdy demand, which is why we’re investing in a number of places,” Zak Edson, Lucid’s senior director of gross sales and repair, informed Automotive Information Canada.

“It’s certainly not cheap to construct studios and repair centres, so it provides you a way of our curiosity and dedication to the market, the place our expectations are.”

Vancouver was chosen due to its fame for supporting environmental causes, Edson mentioned. The corporate’s underlying mission is “to encourage adoption of sustainable transportation,” which jibes with the British Columbia authorities’s push to spice up EV adoption and recharging infrastructure.

“Additionally, there’s an curiosity in luxurious vehicles and an viewers that isn’t solely receptive however able to buying this class of auto,” Edson mentioned.

AFFLUENT BUYERS

A survey in January by the Canadian automotive unit of the consulting agency KPMG discovered that 20 per cent of the two,000 on-line respondents had been ready to pay as much as $75,000 for an EV.

Whereas EVs made up about 4 per cent of recent passenger-vehicle gross sales throughout the first half of 2021, the choice is increasing, particularly within the center and higher ranges.

Lucid will discover itself competing not simply with well-established Tesla, which has two Metro Vancouver retailers, but additionally mainstream luxurious manufacturers reminiscent of Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi which have EV fashions on the market or within the pipeline.

Excessive-priced EVs don’t qualify for federal or provincial rebates, however Peter Hatges, KPMG Canada’s nationwide automotive business chief, mentioned prosperous consumers have much less worth sensitivity.

“They’re going to make some evaluation round worth for cash and uniqueness,” Hatges mentioned. Vary, efficiency and distinctive options can be necessary, as will match and end.

Lucid’s Edson mentioned he thinks the road of Air automobiles can win on that turf.

PASSENGER SPACE OPTIMIZED

The Air has the inside quantity of a long-wheelbase Mercedes S-Class within the footprint of an E-Class, Edson mentioned.

“It’s the mix of all components that come collectively into the product as an entire,” mentioned Edson, who joined Lucid in October 2019 after stints at corporations together with California-based startup Seres EV and Tesla.

To start out, the Vancouver outlet has one automobile and quite a lot of different shows, together with a mannequin of the Air’s motor, discount gear, differential and inverter — all of which Edson mentioned are compact sufficient to suit right into a stick with it suitcase.

Additionally on show is the in-house-developed battery module and “wunderbox” bidirectional speedy charger, able to turning the automotive’s battery right into a stationary vitality supply for dwelling use or to recharge one other automotive.

Prospects who go to the Vancouver showroom can use virtual-reality goggles to strive completely different colors and inside choices, backed by bodily shows.

Lucid will arrange service centres for every Canadian location, with the Vancouver operation anticipated to open in 2022. A fleet of vans would be the major supply of service.

“If we are able to restore that from their driveway or their storage, that’s our choice,” Edson mentioned. “Plus, we are able to do fairly a bit over the air to diagnose the automobile remotely or push software program updates that may resolve quite a lot of points {that a} buyer may encounter.”

Lucid started producing automobiles at its Arizona plant in September and can start fulfilling preliminary orders this 12 months. Canadian clients who reserved an Air may additionally see their automobile later this 12 months or early subsequent, Edson mentioned.

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