Lucid Motors, a luxury electric vehicle startup with a market cap peak of $91 billion, is now under SEC investigation
It was just last month that we wrote about Lucid Motors after the so-called Tesla killer made its public debut in July via a SPAC with Michael Klein’s blank-check acquisition firm that valued the company at $24 billion. By November, Lucid’s market cap is about $73 billion and was on track to surpass Ford’s at $79.4 billion.
Fast forward five months later, Lucid is now under Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. According to a report from Reuters, SEC has subpoenaed Lucid for documents related to an investigation into its blank-check deal, joining a growing list of companies that have come under scrutiny for their merger with shell companies.
Shares of the luxury electric-car startup fell about 14% in pre-market trading on Monday after confirming that it had received a subpoena from the SEC. In a regulatory filing with the SEC, Lucid said: “The investigation appears to concern the business combination between the Company (Churchill Capital Corp. IV) and Atieva Inc and certain projections and statements.”
The California-based Lucid was founded in 2007 by Andrew Burns and Sam Weng under the name Atieva and originally focused on building electric vehicle batteries and powertrains for other vehicle manufacturers. Just like Tesla in its early days, Lucid Motors sets out to create a car that elevates the human experience and transcends the perceived limitations of space, performance, and intelligence.
Some of the Lucid employees had previously worked at other car companies such as Tesla and Mazda, including Peter Rawlinson, the former VP of Engineering at Tesla, and Derek Jenkins, the former Head of Design at Mazda North America Operations. Its backers include Tsing Capital, Mitsui, Venrock, JAFCO, and others. In October 2016, the company rebranded to Lucid Motors and officially announced its intent to develop an all-electric, high-performance luxury vehicle.
Rawlinson joined Lucid in 2013 as chief technology officer. He later became the CEO of the company in April 2019. Rawlinson said he believes there’s a long runway for the EV start-up’s stock and market cap to surpass traditional automakers and be valued more like Elon Musk’s Tesla.
“I think the sky’s the limit in terms of valuation, but it’s all about execution. It’s all about execution, it’s all about scaling volume. And that’s my focus. And I think the share price lookup as a result,” Rawlinson told CNBC during an interview Monday night following Lucid reporting its first quarterly report as a public company.