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Faraday Future denies its connection with LeEco

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【Summary】Under the controversies of LeEco’s recent stock-trade halt and financial trouble, its closely-connected company Faraday Future confirmed yesterday that LeEco is never a shareholder of FF. The latter is only YT Jia’s personal investment.

Original Claire    Dec 11, 2016 8:53 PM PT
Faraday Future denies its connection with LeEco

As many observers already know, LeEco has experienced a recent stock-trade issue and other financial troubles. Its closely-connected company - Faraday Future (FF) - confirmed yesterday that LeEco was never a shareholder of FF. The latter is merely Y.T. Jia's personal investment. 

According to Sina, several senior officials from Faraday Future clarified in a recent interview that FF is not a subsidiary of LeEco, but rather is a totally standalone venture. The company is strategically partnering with LeEco because of the billionaire status of its CEO. In effect, Yueting Jia is just an early investor. Faraday Future has other financial backers to augment their portfolio.

Faraday Future is now providing engineering and vehicle parts to support LeEco. In exchange, LeEco is sharing technology in hardware, software, cloud and internet services with FF. That's all the connection FF admits it has with the Chinese tech giant. Also, Faraday Future's new EV will not resemble LeEco's LeSee supercar.

In less than three weeks, Faraday Future will unveil its new product at the CES 2017. FF's senior VP of R&D and Engineering, Nick Sampson, said this will be the very first car to enter mass production.

"We've put so much effort into this product, to make it to the market," he explained. "The new car will soon realize its mass production. From initial release to final product on sale, it will never take a few years like what traditional automakers do. The product is a luxurious electric vehicle, more high-end than Tesla, and will compete with Bentley and Ferrari in the future."  

But in terms of when it will hit full production, FF said there's still time for their Nevada factory to be built up, so the company will temporarily cooperate with other automakers to get the new product manufactured.

Last month, Faraday Future halted construction on its $1 billion electric vehicle factory in Nevada, and was said to have missed several payments with its contractor "AECOM." The halt was speculated upon by the general public as a sign of escalating financial problems for Y.T. Jia, the aforementioned and well-known major investor behind the company. Early in October, FF confirmed the departures of six top executives over the last several months. The crisis makes the public question whether it will function normally under sufficient funding. The complex relationship between Faraday and LeEco was also confusing for many people. And Nevada's state treasurer Dan Schwartz even said the venture was a "Ponzi scheme," in an interview with Reuters. "You have a new company that has never built a car, building a new plant in the middle of the desert, financed by a mysterious Chinese billionaire," Schwartz said, according to the Reuters report. "At some point, as with Bernie Madoff, the game ends."But a Faraday Future spokesperson later clarified that the company "is working with" AECOM during an "adjustment period" at the plant and that it planned to restart work at the factory in 2017. Now it will unveil a new car with the aim of mass-production. 

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