Faraday Future’s progress on a $1 billion factory appears to be grinding to a halt in North Las Vegas, Nevada.
The secretive, Chinese-backed automotive startup said it would build its future electric, autonomous vehicles at the plant, after holding a groundbreaking ceremony there in April.
Since then, Faraday Future has apparently hit some speed bumps — including falling behind on millions of dollars in escrow payments meant to cover costs for the plant.
AECOM, the contractor overseeing the project, said it may resume construction in early 2017, according to a statement obtained by Jalopnik on Monday.
The project was expected to create 4,500 jobs in the economically depressed region minutes from the Las Vegas Strip.
In an email to Business Insider last month, a Faraday Future spokesperson said business between the startup and AECOM was “strong” and that it was “committed to building [the] factory of the future in North Las Vegas.”
In that same statement, the company asserted that both companies were “working diligently to resolve the overdue payment.”
An editorial in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Monday suggests that little progress has been made in that endeavour: “We’ve expressed concerns from the beginning that Faraday didn’t have the funds to undertake or complete this project,” Nevada state treasurer Dan Schwartz was cited in the newspaper. “Within the last several weeks, our concerns remain unabated.”
Though some Nevada state officials emphatically supported the Faraday Future project, Schwartz was one of its earliest sceptics.
The company’s primary investor, Jia Yueting, sent a letter to employees earlier this month saying “We sped blindly ahead … our cash demand ballooned. We got overextended in our global strategy. At the same time, our capital and resources were in fact limited,” Bloomberg reported.
Jia is the chairman of Beijing-based tech company, LeEco, which made a splashy US debut in late October.
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