Jeddah is the leading candidate to receive the investment. It is close to the Red Sea and has an important port that would be crucial for exporting these cars not only to Europe but also to the Chinese market. Lucid may eventually consider a factory in the Asian giant, but luxury brands do well in China just with exports. Ask Porsche or Bentley about that.
Another strong candidate to receive Lucid’s new factory is Neom, a city that is still under construction. Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman himself would have conceived it as a city of the future. Neom is a combination of Greek’s word for new and Arabic’s term for future. PIF would have invested $500 billion to complete this city by 2025. A Lucid factory there would be the crown jewel to the city’s success.
Some U.S. intelligence reports state that Bin Salman was involved with the assassination of the exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Ironically, that would be the same year Lucid agreed to have a factory in Saudi Arabia to receive PIF’s investments.
Lucid would be now discussing if the company will wholly own the factory or if ownership will be shared with its partners, meaning PIF. It would not surprise us if Lucid only manufactured its cars in a factory that belonged to the sovereign fund. The EV maker would manage to export them without the risks and liabilities that having a factory in an autocracy with no automotive manufacturing tradition could bring.