Jia Yueting, Chinese Entrepreneur from Faraday Future, an electric car start-up, has hired BMW veteran Ulrich Kranz as chief technology officer, as it pushes to accelerate production of its FF91 luxury electric SUV despite its parent’s financial woes.
Faraday is part of a network of young electric vehicle (EV) firms in China and the United States backed by Jia. Their indebted film production-to-cars conglomerate is facing a severe cash crunch after rapid expansion.
Faraday is struggling to support some of its loftier goals, including beating Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors in premium EV making, so Kranz decided to join. Last week they said that they would move production of the FF91 to a new site to get the car to production faster, effectively mothballing a stalled $1 billion Las Vegas Factory.
On Monday, Faraday said in a statement that Kranz would lead all engineering and technology research and development, purchasing and manufacturing improvements –“focused on getting the FF91 to production quickly.”
Kranz led BMW’s electric vehicle project, launching vehicle lines including the i8, i3, Z3 and X5.
Faraday also said that He worked on the revival of the Mini brand.
Responsibility for developing BMW’s “I” vehicles was handed to college Robert Irlinger by Kranz on January 1, 2017, said BMW.
A string of electric vehicle engineers defect to Chinese startup carmakers has been seen by BMW.
Last year, Future Mobility Corp poached Dirk Abendroth, manager of BMW’s “I” powertrain group, Henrik Wenders, vice president product management BMW “I”, and Carsten Breitfeld, head of the i8 vehicle program.
Defections were not affecting the carmaker’s ability to develop more electric vehicles, said BMW. On Tuesday, a spokesman for the company said that the engineering team developing its “iNext” vehicle is bigger than ever.
Stefan Krause, a BMW veteran and now Faraday’s global chief financial officer, also was appointed chief operating officer.