Tesla’s former head of production turns up at Lucid Motors

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Lucid Motors said on Monday it had hired Tesla’s former vice president of production, Peter Hochholdinger, as vice president of manufacturing.

The Newark, California-based electric carmaker in April also named Peter Rawlinson, former chief engineer of Tesla’s Model S, as its chief executive officer.

Lucid, which has more than $1 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, was founded in 2007 as Atieva by Sam Weng and Bernard Tse, a former vice president of Tesla.

The company positions itself as being less of a direct competitor to Tesla than with luxury car makers such as Audi or BMW, Rawlinson had said.

Hochholdinger, a former production executive at Volkswagen AG, left Tesla last week after three years with the company. At Tesla, he was tasked with improving production for Tesla’s luxury Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle as well as helping build a cost-effective manufacturing program for the Model 3 sedan.

He was the latest high-profile executive to leave Tesla in the past two years, as the automaker struggles to ramp up production of Model 3, which is seen as crucial for its long-term profitability.

Rawlinson said Hochholdinger’s experience in manufacturing would help the company in launching Lucid Air and other future models.

Tesla is expected to report its second-quarter delivery and production numbers this week.

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