Faraday Future lets go of CEO Carsten Breitfeld, replacing him with Xuefeng "XF" Chen, as it approaches the scheduled start of production.
The EV maker has recently received EPA certification for its FF 91, promising up to 381 miles on a full charge.
The FF 91 is set to offer up to 1050 hp, a number that would have been industry-leading several years ago, but now faces competition on multiple fronts.
Faraday Future, which has endured one of the longest concept to pre-production cycles among EV startups in recent memory, has suddenly parted ways with CEO Carsten Breitfeld "following a comprehensive evaluation of the company's performance since it went public in July 2021."
The start-up has appointed Xuefeng "XF" Chen, who until now has been the company's top boss in China, as its new Global CEO, as it still seeks to bring the long-delayed FF 91 Futurist to production.
"XF is a top talent in the global automotive industry and possesses both a global perspective and extensive hands-on experience across the global automotive industrial chain," said FFIE Chairman of the Board of Directors Adam He. "His years of experience at Ford and Jaguar Land Rover will pave a solid foundation for his leadership of Faraday Future’s global team."
Chen has almost 20 years of automotive experience, including stints at Chery Jaguar Land Rover, Changan Ford, Changan Mazda, and the Ford Asia Pacific Design Center. During his time at Jaguar Land Rover's joint venture in China, Chen oversaw program planning, implementation, and production, increasing Jaguar Land Rover sales in China at a crucial time for the company.
Bringing the FF1 Futurist to production stateside, however, has proven to be tougher to accomplish than for other EV startups, most of which had either folded or had achieved production.
Faraday Future has managed to hang on in that state of limbo longer than some industry analysts had predicted, without folding outright but also without advancing its uncompromising and ambitious concept.
All during this time, competition from startups like Lucid has crept very close to the promised specs of the FF 91, the difference being that Lucid Motors has now been producing cars for a year, albeit with a few hiccups.
The good news is that Faraday Future has now completed construction and the installation of equipment in vehicle assembly areas.
"With the completion of the manufacturing #6 milestone, we are just one step away from start of production. I look forward to working closely with Faraday Future's global employees, external partners, stockholders, and investors to honor the promise we've made to users—to deliver the FF 91 Futurist with high quality," said Chen.
The company also says it is making progress in the steps of validation and testing of the production version of the FF 91 Futurist, noting that its real-world range has exceeded its expectations.
Much still depends on Faraday's vision of the future and its price being right for the time. At the moment there is no shortage of high-priced EVs, with a wave of German electric models having arrived on the market this year.
The FF 91 Futurist still promises 1050 hp, 0-60 mph blasts in 2.27 seconds, and an EPA-certified range of 381 miles—all numbers that would have been records two years ago, before the arrival of the Lucid Air and its hotter variants. Tesla isn't out of contention either when it comes to pure performance, with platforms that are now a decade old.
Just what slice of the market Faraday will be able to take for itself remains to be seen, just as a horsepower and range war heats up among electric hypercars. And now it's not only startups like Lucid that Faraday has to worry about in the coming years, but established supercar makers as well fielding electric models.
Perhaps more importantly, the focus is now slowly shifting to affordable electric models, rather than money-no-object engineering showcases. The future is close enough now to be seen with binoculars, but the industry has not stood still for the past several years.