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US electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors plans to have overseas production operations in place by 2025, including a car plant in China, a company executive confirmed in a media interview this week.

The California-based carmaker operates a plant in Arizona which began deliveries of its first production model, the Air, in September. Lucid’s shares have shot up in the last few months, giving the company a market capitalisation of US$85m, higher than that of Ford Motor.

In July Lucid said it expected to produce 20,000 Air models in 2022, adding that it had over 17,000 reservations for the model. The company raised US$4.4bn from a reverse merger deal that took it public last summer and said it had enough cash to ramp up production through to 2022.

Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson said in an interview on CNBC this week “mid-decade, we plan to have plants in the Middle East and China as well”, without elaborating further.

China is the world’s largest market for battery-powered vehicles, with sales exceeding 2.1 million units in the first ten months of 2021 with plug-in hybrids adding a further 435,000 units. Local analysts expect these vehicles will account for 30% of total sales in China by 2025, potentially around 9 million vehicles.

Tesla opened a factory in Shanghai in 2019 to fulfil local demand and supply overseas markets and has since become the leading EV manufacturer in the country.

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By GlobalData