Electric car company Faraday Future looks at Georgia for $1 billion factory

A mysterious California startup company is looking at Georgia and several other states for a $1 billion factory to build a new electric vehicle.

This Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 photo shows the Faraday Future building in Gardena, Calif. Faraday Future has been hunting for a place to build what it says will be a $1 billion manufacturing plant for a new line of cars. Four states are contenders and the company says to expect an announcement within weeks. Like Tesla, Faraday’s car will be all-electric, and debut at the high end.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

This Friday, Nov. 6, 2015 photo shows the Faraday Future building in Gardena, Calif. Faraday Future has been hunting for a place to build what it says will be a $1 billion manufacturing plant for a new line of cars. Four states are contenders and the company says to expect an announcement within weeks. Like Tesla, Faraday’s car will be all-electric, and debut at the high end. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

The startup, Faraday Future, backed by a Chinese billionaire and with a management team chock full of former Tesla executives, said in a news release last week it announce the new facility “in the coming weeks.”

Georgia has been hot on the trail of automotive headquarters and factories, landing the U.S. division of Mercedes-Benz, but narrowly missing out this year on a new factory from Volvo.

The Peach State also was among sites in North America that courted Jaguar Land Rover before that automaker put off plans for a new factory.

“We are very excited to make our $1 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing—and this is just phase one,” Nick Sampson, senior vice president of Faraday Future, said in a news release. “Selecting the right location for the future FF manufacturing facility is critical to our overall goals. Producing our forward-looking and fully-connected electric vehicles not only requires the latest technology, but the right community partner.”

Faraday has a roster of former Tesla and BMW executives, but so far it isn’t known if they have a design for a car. But it is taking aim at Tesla, which launched with luxury models first and is developing its SUV known as the Model X.

The new Tesla Model S P85D produces extra power with the addition of a second electric motor putting out the equivalent of 691 horsepower. It's priced at $104,500. (Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The new Tesla Model S P85D produces extra power with the addition of a second electric motor putting out the equivalent of 691 horsepower. It’s priced at $104,500. (Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

The Los Angeles Times linked the company through incorporation papers to a Chinese media company controlled by entrepreneur Jia Yueting, who’s estimated by Forbes to be worth $7 billion.

The company says it has 400 employees and the Times reports it is based in a former Nissan U.S. sales office in the city of Gardena, near Los Angeles.

In its news release, Faraday said it is considering California, Georgia, Louisiana and Nevada. Tesla set off an incentives sweepstakes with its search for a new factory and netted an estimated $1.3 billion incentives package for its manufacturing facility near Reno, Nev.Georgia hasn’t been shy about using incentives, offering Kia Motors hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits, grants, land, worker training and infrastructure improvements.

Georgia’s offer to Volvo has never been publicly disclosed. But the state pumped millions into its economic development grant program to sweeten its offer to the Swedish automaker, and that money remains available for other prospects. Among those prospects Georgia is wooing: the headquarters of General Electric.

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