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Lucid CEO says Tesla is 'losing its way'

Grace Kay   

Lucid CEO says Tesla is 'losing its way'
  • Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson criticized Tesla in a recent interview.
  • Rawlinson, a former Tesla engineer, said that Tesla has lost its way.

Lucid CEO Peter Rawlinson isn't a fan of Tesla's recent trajectory under Elon Musk.

Rawlinson, who served as a chief engineer at Tesla from 2009 to 2012 before joining Lucid in 2013, said that Tesla seems to have lost its sense of purpose during an interview with BBC's Wake Up to Money that aired Monday.

"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 of his time at the EV company. "And what I'm seeing now is I'm seeing a worrying trend towards a sort of distraction."

The Lucid CEO said he feels Tesla is "losing its way" and doesn't have the same sense of purpose it once did. While Rawlinson did not directly say Elon Musk by name, he said that "there's a clear distraction there from leadership." He also mentioned things that line up with Musk's actions in recent years, appearing to allude to the Tesla CEO's purchase of Twitter and politics.

"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," Rawlinson said.

Rawlinson is far from the first to question Musk's focus on Tesla. Since Musk acquired Twitter in 2022, some Tesla investors have questioned his commitment to the electric carmaker. After all, Musk is directly involved in at least six different companies.

While Rawlinson told BBC that Lucid is "many years ahead" of other automakers, including Tesla, when it comes to some of its technology, the company has only a fraction of the market share compared to Tesla. Lucid only delivered about 6,000 vehicles in 2023. Tesla delivered more than 1.8 million.

Both automakers have faced headwinds in recent months due to slumping EV sales. Over the past month, Tesla initiated a series of layoffs, and on Wednesday, Lucid kicked off a round of job cuts as well, slashing its workforce by 6%.

Lucid declined to comment further when contacted by Business Insider. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

Rawlinson and Musk have traded barbs on social media in the past. In 2021, Musk said Rawlinson was "never chief engineer."

"He arrived after Model S prototype was made, left before things got tough & was only ever responsible for body engineering, not powertrain, battery, software, production or design," Musk posted on X in 2021.

Rawlinson told Axios at the time that Musk's view of his role was an example of "historical revisionism."

Do you work for Tesla or have a tip? Reach out to the reporter via a non-work email and device at gkay@businessinsider.com or at 248-894-6012


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