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Lucid Group Hires Key Executives that Formerly Worked for Mercedes-Benz and Tesla as it Prepares for Global Expansion and Production Ramp Up

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【Summary】Luxury-electric automaker Lucid Group announced the appointments of Evelyn Chiang as VP of Process Transformation and Walter Ludwig as its VP of Global Logistics as it aims to ramp up production. The two executives bring a wealth of global expertise and decades of operational excellence from companies including Mercedes-Benz and Tesla.

FutureCar Staff    Jul 22, 2022 9:15 AM PT
Lucid Group Hires Key Executives that Formerly Worked for Mercedes-Benz and Tesla as it Prepares for Global Expansion and Production Ramp Up
The Lucid Air sedan.

Luxury electric automaker Lucid Group is making plans to expand globally and has appointed two key executives to bolster its operations and logistics experience.

On Thursday, Lucid announced the appointments of Evelyn Chiang as VP of Process Transformation and Walter Ludwig as its VP of Global Logistics. The two executives bring a wealth of global expertise and decades of operational excellence from companies including Mercedes-Benz and Tesla, according to Lucid.

Ms Chiang will lead enterprise initiatives aligned with the company's strategic objectives leveraging techniques and methodologies to "analyze, harmonize, and improve business processes across the organization".

She previously held leadership roles at Tesla and SAP, as well as other global technology companies outside of the auto industry. Before joining Lucid, Ms Chiang was COO at Copenhagen-based software-as-a-service company Siteimprove. 

Ms. Chiang earned her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  

Ludwig brings over 28 years of automotive experience from Mercedes-Benz AG, where he held various roles, including Head of Operations, Head of Quality and most recently Head of Central Logistics. As former head of logistics for the luxury automaker, Ludwig focused on manufacturing, engineering and supplier management.

Ludwig studied Mechanical Engineering at the University GHS Essen with an additional qualification in economics from the Social Economic Institute Essen in Germany.

In his new role at Lucid, Ludwig will provide strategic and operational leadership, including developing and implementing best practices in automotive logistics and parts management. He will focus on Lucid's supplier capacity management, inbound and outbound logistics, launch and change management, material planning, material handling engineering, and data management.

Prior to joining Lucid, Ludwig's management focus has been ramping up production and stabilizing manufacturing plants in Germany, China, Russia, Argentina, and the U.S. for the past 20 years.

Both Chiang and Ludwig will report directly to Lucid CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson.

"I'm delighted to have Evelyn and Walter join the Lucid leadership team," said Peter Rawlinson, Lucid's CEO and CTO. "Together, they bring decades of global expertise and operational excellence to the company."

Lucid_VP_Headshots_Chiang_and_Ludwig.jpeg

Lucid's current focus is ramping up production of the Lucid Air sedan, the company's first vehicle. The Air is currently being built at Lucid's factory in Casa Grande, Arizona. The company is opening a second factory in Saudi Arabia. 

Lucid's factory in Arizona is dubbed the "Advanced Manufacturing Plant 1" (AMP-1) and its the first electric vehicle factory in the U.S. purposefully built from the ground up to produce only EVs.

The Arizona facility is also home to the Lucid Powertrain Manufacturing (LPM-1) where Lucid builds electric motors and other components for the Lucid Air. 

In May, Lucid announced a ceremonial signing event with the Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia ("MISA"), the Saudi Industrial Development Fund ("SIDF"), Emaar, The Economic City, at King Abdullah Economic City ("KAEC") and Gulf International Bank ("GIB") for the construction of of Lucid's second electric vehicle factory in Saudi Arabia. 

The agreement to build the new Lucid factory in Saudi Arabia was first announced in February. The EV factory will have the capacity to produce 155,000 electric vehicles a year and will support around 4,500 jobs.

Lucid will receive significant financing and incentives of up to $3.4 billion in aggregate over the next 15 years to build and operate its EV manufacturing facility in Saudi Arabia.

Lucid's Middle East regional headquarters in Riyadh has been open since last year.

In April, Lucid announced a separate agreement with the Government of Saudi Arabia for the purchase of up to 100,000 vehicles over a ten-year period. The Saudi Government's initial commitment is to purchase 50,000 Lucid EVs, with an option to purchase an additional 50,000 vehicles over the same period.

The order quantity is expected to range from 1,000 to 2,000 vehicles annually and increase to between 4,000 and 7,000 vehicles annually starting in 2025. Delivery of the vehicles is required to begin no later than the second quarter of 2023.

In Dec 2021, Lucid also recruited auto industry veterans to key roles in engineering and sales.

The appointments included Ralph Jakobs as Vice President of Program Management, Zak Edson as Vice President of Sales and Service and Dr. Emad Dlala as Vice President of Powertrain.

Lucid said that each brings a wealth of expertise from automotive and high-tech companies such as Volkswagen Group and Tesla.

Jakobs brings 23 years of automotive experience to Lucid, including a series of technical and engineering roles. His experience includes management positions in Europe, the U.S. and China.

Jakobs was the CTO for Volkswagen and Audi at their largest joint venture in China and served as vice president of research and development activities for Volkswagen Group in China from 2016 to May 2019.

Prior to joining Lucid in 2015, Dr. Dlala worked at ANSYS Inc., a developer of computer-based engineering simulation innovations for automotive and aerospace applications.  

Dlala previously served as Lucid's Sr. Director of Efficiency and Energy Technology. Lucid said his power efficiency expertise was instrumental in leading Lucid's breakthrough technologies that achieved unmatched range and performance in the Lucid Air, topping 500 miles per charge while delivering over 1,000 horsepower from its compact electric powertrain. 

Dlala holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Aalto University, Finland. He is currently responsible for leading Lucid's powertrain and battery engineering development.  

Zac Edson, previously served as Lucid's Senior Director of Sales and Service. He also held senior management positions at Tesla. Edson worked as Director of Global Product Planning at Tesla and helped navigate the company's high profile IPO in June 2010.

Lucid is still facing an uphill battle to reach its delivery goals in 2022 as the company deals with supply chain issues and the rising costs of raw materials. 

In May, Lucid reported Q1 revenue of $57.7 million on deliveries of just 360 vehicles to customers in the first quarter. However, Lucid reported strong customer demand for the Lucid Air, with reservations now exceeding 30,000 vehicles. 

The 30,000 preorders represent potential sales of $2.9 billion. But the actual delivery lookout is much lower for the rest of the year. Lucid's 2022 production volume outlook is just 12,000 to 14,000 vehicles, so ramping up production remains a high priority for Lucid. 


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