Faraday Future's FF91 in Even More Serious Doubt as LeEco Cuts NA Personnel

It seems like LeEco read more than it should have in that seemingly unstoppable Chinese economic growth and stretched its arm way further than its sleeve could reach.
Faraday Future FF 91 1 photo
The Chinese conglomerate led by billionaire Jia Yueting was the country's largest technology player, with services ranging from something very similar to Netflix to actually building the flatscreen TVs the shows would be watched on.

Not one to settle for what he had, Jia Yueting probably looked at Elon Musk and his Tesla and thought "I want to have that too." So he branched into the EV-making business as well with a car called LeSee that was to be built under the same LeEco brand name.

However, he was also the main funding power behind Faraday Future, the company that showed us its FF 91 concept vehicle at this year's CES. The U.S.-based startup was also planning on building a large factory in Nevada, an investment that was believed to be in the $1 billion region alone.

Over in China, LeEco announced late last year it broke ground on its own $3 billion plant that's supposed to house the assembly of the LeSee sedan once it's completed. It would also build other, more affordable models that are yet to be detailed by the company.

LeEco even tried to bring its products to the North American market with a grandiose event last October, but the show was plagued with plenty of awkward moments, the biggest one being the fact there was absolutely no car to show.

Now, CNBC reports that a massive number of the company's 500 U.S.-based staff is going to be laid off - sources speak of only 60 employees remaining, which represents a mere 12 percent. The cut would definitely spell an end to LeEco's ambitions to take the market by storm, but it could have even more dramatic implications.

According to sources quoted by CNBC, the Chinese giant "might" continue to invest in Faraday Future, which is a separate entity, but that's in desperate need of money if it wants to bring the FF 91 prototype to production.

The first to benefit indirectly from these layoffs was Tesla. Presumably sensing the ship was going down, a few engineers from Faraday Future have already found new jobs at Elon Musk's company, and we wouldn't be surprised if more were to follow. There's no shortage of job opportunities for talented professionals in Silicon Valley, that's for sure.


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