Troubled electric car company Faraday Futures makes another high-profile hire from BMW. In 2015, the Chinese-backed, yet US-based Faraday hired Richard Kim, the ex-BMW designer responsible for the i8, along with another former BMW designer, Paige Biermann, who penned the 3 Series Gran Turismo. A series of other BMW engineers were also hired by Faraday and even the formed head of PR, Stacy Morris, came from BMW of North America as well.
The latest high-profile hire was announced today when Ulrich Kranz, the head of BMW’s Project i electric vehicle team, has joined Faraday after a more than 30-year career at the German automaker. We first interviewed Kranz in 2010 when BMW was just kicking off their i sub-brand.
As chief technology officer at Faraday, he’ll be tasked with turning the 1,050-horsepower FF 91 from concept to reality amid a cash crunch and concerns about the shaky finances of a top investor, LeEco founder Jia Yueting.
“I’m not a job hopper,” Kranz said in a phone interview with Bloomberg. “Some people will probably raise eyebrows” in reaction to the departure from BMW, the engineer said. “But people who know me well know that I can take risks. I’ve always jumped into projects.”
“I look at the product and the people behind the product,” Kranz said of his decision to leave BMW for Faraday. “That’s why I wanted to join and help to set up everything so the company is ready to launch the product.”
The company last week shelved a $1 billion factory in Nevada, after months of state officials raising doubts about Jia’s financial backing, and it’s now rumored to be looking for outside funding.