Faraday Future answers mounting challenges with high-profile CTO hire


Faraday Future is an electric car company with a very uncertain
future, following news that it would be
ending its effort to build an assembly plant for its vehicles
in Nevada
. The company’s primary backer, China’s LeEco, is
in dire financial straits, and the would-be Tesla challenger is
facing its own heat as a result. Now, however, the company is
revealing a big-name hire – Ulrich Kranz, who previously headed
BMW’s electric “i” series vehicle program, is joining as Chief
Technical Officer.

The addition of Kranz gives Faraday a new lead for its research
and development, manufacturing, engineering and purchasing
operations, the company tells me. He joins the company after a
30-year career at BMW, where he spent the past 10 years
overseeing the i series, including the i3 and i8, BMW’s first
dedicated EVs. Before that, Kranz led the MINI line, as well as
product development across multiple areas at the automaker in
previous roles.

Kranz’s long history at the German automaker makes the sudden
shift to the untested and beleaguered FF all the more
noteworthy; he’s hardly a callous climber, jumping from stunt
hire to stunt hire. Still, there’s little doubt that Faraday
considers this hire a strategic move – it’s a rare spot of good
news for a company that has had precious little of that of
late.

Faraday also says that it’s “nearing the end” of a search for a
turn-key manufacturing option, after being forced to walk away
from its custom-built Nevada facility. Going with an existing
manufacturing facility will help it keep costs down and add
some runway, as it seeks to get its initial FF 91 sport sedan
to market. The automaker unquestionably still faces huge
challenges, and I still wouldn’t call its prospects promising,
but Kranz’s hire is an interesting development nonetheless.


Featured Image: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

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