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Chinese-Backed Startup Takes Aim at Tesla With Unveiling of Its Electric Car

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Antonio Barron

Silicon Valley startup Lucid Motors expects on Wednesday to reveal a production version of its electric sedan, a competitor of the Tesla Model S, and to begin accepting reservations for the car, slated to begin assembly in late 2018.

Lucid represents the latest attempt by auto makers backed by Chinese money, including U.S. startups Faraday Future and Karma Automotive as well as NextEV, to crack the U.S. auto market.

But those ambitions ran into challenges in 2009, when U.S. car sales fell to their lowest level in about 30 years and General Motors and Chrysler underwent government-backed restructuring.

Car deliveries in China soared past those in the U.S. during that time.

That segment isn t yet dominated by traditional auto makers and has been spurred by incentives in China, though it has struggled amid low U.S. gas prices.

These guys are coming in at the highest levels and saying we want to be Tesla or better, said Michael Dunne, a longtime auto industry consultant who spent years in Asia.

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Antonio Barron
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