I Was Wrong About Faraday Future’s Pricing. Or Was I?
Even at $175,000, the FF-91 is a big cactus to swallow
In world of clickbait and fake news, it’s essential that any writer who aspires to credibility admit a mistake. I made a mistake. I based my recent op-ed “Faraday Future’s Killer $290,000 Feature Revealed” on a quote from Faraday backer Jia Yueting to a Chinese news outlet. In analyzing the $290k figure, I used US market pricing for competing models, thereby comparing apples with oranges.
Faraday deserves a fair shake. Let’s compare apples with apples.
Jia claimed the FF-91 would cost “less than ¥2,000,000”, which as of this writing is approximately $293,000. Faraday has confirmed that this figure includes Chinese market taxes and import duties. They also said the FF-91 "will be priced competitively in the premium electric vehicle segment."
Chinese market taxes and import duties vary, but generously assuming a high end of 40% for a luxury vehicle like the FF-91, the U.S. market price would be around $175,800. Let’s place the Faraday among theoretical competitors one more time:
$224,374 Mercedes Maybach
Once again, let’s remove those unlikely to match Faraday’s launch feature set for 2018, and what’s left?
$175,800 Faraday Future FF-91
The Faraday is still more expensive than either Tesla, an established brand with the only real infrastructure/ecosystem in the electric car space. Place it alongside the Lucid Air — a stunning vehicle with nearly identical technology, more range and also backed by Jia — and I know which one I'd buy.
The rest of my argument against the FF-91 still stands. Despite protests that it's a state-of-the-art crossover, I still see a premium electric/connected/autonomous minivan. By the time the FF-91 hits the market — which Faraday claims will be in 2018 — every single feature they're touting will be commoditized among luxury vehicles. Even if legacy auto makers don't get competing products to market by then, Tesla will. Tesla's only a battery, interior and wireless software upgrade away from where Faraday wants to go.
I am 100% behind innovation and new companies challenging the old guard. Tesla has led the way. Faraday is packed full of talent. The FF-91 is packed full of technology. But its packaging is all wrong. Even if you like its looks, even if you hate the Model X, the Model S is out there at a lower price, and the gorgeous Lucid Air is at least as likely to hit the market when the FF-91 does.
If you're going to sell a minivan, price it like one. If you're going to sell mobility, price it that way. Mobility currently tops out at $75,000, or the price of an Escalade, Suburban or Tahoe.
That's where the FF-91 needs to be.
I've often said I hate houseboats. Bad houses, bad boats. I was wrong about that too. Give me the world's fastest, most luxurious houseboat and I'd still hate it. Because it looks like a houseboat.
@Faraday: Strip the FF-91. Keep the autonomy. Cut the price by 50%. Cut a deal with Uber or Didi. Print money.
Alex Roy is Editor-at-Large for The Drive, author of The Driver, and set the 2007 Transcontinental “Cannonball Run” Record in 31 hours & 4 minutes. You may follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
MORE TO READ
Faraday Future’s Killer $290,000 Feature Revealed
Building a very expensive Chinese Homer is too much, too soon.
Do You Think the Faraday Future FF 91’s Looks Match its Intelligence?
Is it striking? Sure. But handsome? You decide.
Faraday’s Biggest Problem Isn’t The Money
The FF-91 fails to answer the biggest question about it to date: Who is supposed to buy this car?
The Faraday Future FF 91 Is a Tesla-Fighting Electric Car Packed with Tech
Can this car truly give Elon Musk a run for its money?