Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson Thinks Elon Musk's Tesla Seems 'Distracted' And 'Kind Of Losing Its Way' — Says It Used To Have 'The Cutting Edge' During His 3-Year Stint

Zinger Key Points
  • Rawlinson was employed at Tesla for three years before he started Lucid.
  • The rivalry between Lucid and Tesla extends beyond the EV market.
  • Lucid is looking to produce a midsize vehicle priced at $48,000 in late 2026 to take on Tesla Model 3,Y.
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Lucid Group Inc LCID CEO Peter Rawlinson on Monday took a jab at rival EV maker Tesla, Inc. TSLA, opining that the latter has lost focus over the years.

What Happened: Rawlinson was employed at Tesla for three years before he started Lucid.

"At Tesla, I was there for three years from 2009 through to 2012, and at that stage Tesla was truly at the cutting edge, developing the most advanced technology with a clarity of vision and purpose, and an absolute singularity of mindset," Rawlinson said in an episode of BBC‘s Wake Up To Money.

However, a decade later, the company has lost focus, the CEO said.

"What I'm seeing now is a worrying trend towards a sort of distraction. Tesla seems to be distracted, there's an interest in social media, even politics, and it's kind of losing its way. I don't see it having that singular sense of purpose, and I think it really falls to Lucid to take the technology to a whole new level now," the CEO said.

See Also: Best EV Stocks

Why It Matters: The rivalry between Lucid and Tesla extends beyond the EV market. The CEOs of the two companies have engaged in a war of words, with Tesla CEO Elon Musk denying Rawlinson’s claim that he was the Chief Engineer of Tesla’s Model S luxury sedan when he was employed at the company.

Musk alleges that Rawlinson joined the company after the Model S prototype phase and left before production began.

Last year, Musk even warned of potential bankruptcy for Lucid due to excessive spending and predicted they would "end up in the cemetery" unless they slashed costs. Musk also criticized a $6 million cash bonus approved by the company for Rawlinson in February, claiming it was disproportionate to the CEO's actual contributions.

Lucid currently produces only the high-end Lucid Air sedan, unlike Tesla which has mass-market offerings in its Model 3 and Model Y. However, the startup is looking to expand its total addressable market with a midsize vehicle expected to start production in late 2026 and priced at $48,000.

Lucid, however, is yet to make a profit, reporting a net loss of over $346,000 for every vehicle it delivered in the first quarter of 2024.

Check out more of Benzinga’s Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Read More: Tesla Tempts Shareholders With Giga Texas Tour For Voting On CEO Elon Musk’s Rescinded $56B Pay Package

Photo via TechCrunch on Flickr

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