Electric-vehicle maker Lucid Group said on Wednesday it had opened its first international manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia's Jeddah city, under a deal designed to further the Middle Eastern country's electrification push.
Lucid announced plans for the Jeddah factory last year and said the kingdom had signed an agreement to buy up to 100,000 vehicles from the company over 10 years.
Saudi's sovereign wealth fund, Lucid's largest shareholder, has been tasked with driving the kingdom's ambitious plan to reduce reliance on oil revenue as it ventures into an EV industry dominated by countries like China and the United States.
In 2022, the kingdom launched its first EV brand Ceer and announced $6 billion in investments for a steel plate mill complex and an EV battery metals plant.
Industry leader Tesla is also reportedly in early discussions to set up a manufacturing plant in Saudi Arabia.
Lucid's AMP-2 facility, located in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), will assemble the luxury electric sedan Lucid Air, with an initial capacity to produce 5,000 units a year.
The site will be scaled up to produce 155,000 units per annum in the future. Lucid's other manufacturing plant is in Arizona, United States.
Saudi's Public Investment Fund, which owns just over 60% of the EV company, in May agreed to invest $1.8 billion as part of Lucid's private stock offering in May.
(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)