Lucid Motors is reportedly introducing a new protocol to slow customer order cancellations as it strives to sell more vehicles before the year ends.
Insider has seen two internal emails sent over the past two months that appear to show Lucid is increasing pressure on its retail workers by requiring them to call customers up to 14 times to prevent cancellations.
The memos come amid Lucid Motors’ rush to increase deliveries before December 31 as the company aims to hit its target for the year of between 6,000 and 7,000 vehicles. The EV startup has built 3,687 vehicles in the first three quarters of this year, which means it will have to make at least 2,300 vehicles this quarter alone.
Meanwhile, the company confirmed in its third-quarter earnings call that Lucid Air reservations dropped from 37,000 in Q2 to 34,000 in Q3, with CFO Sherry House attributing the drop to a mix of completed deliveries and customer cancellations. In one email sent to Lucid retail employees, the company laid out an elaborate process for slowing customer reservation cancellations, which are described as “failures” by the startup.
A Lucid employee explained to Insider that when a customer asks to cancel their order, their request is handled by a “case owner” who must call the client within 24 hours to “attempt to save” the order. Should they fail to do so, they are required to call again three more times on consecutive days.
That’s not all. The case is then passed up to a manager, then to a regional manager, who have to try calling the customer repeatedly on five and three consecutive days, respectively. Only after all these attempts fail, the reservation can be canceled. The new protocol means that anyone who decides to cancel their reservation could be called every day for two weeks by several Lucid employees before their request is granted—assuming they don’t pick up the phone.
One current Lucid employee who asked to remain anonymous told Insider this is “unhealthy pressure from the top” on retail employees. “I think the level of desperation and the tone of that email, combined with that cancellation protocol — it doesn’t spell high-end and luxury,” the employee added.
As part of its end-of-year sales push, Lucid also introduced vacation “blackout” periods around the end-of-year holidays for certain holidays, including November 24-27 and December 17-31, for people working in field sales, service, and delivery departments, along with headquarters sales and delivery.
Lucid did not comment to Insider but we contacted the company for more details and will update this story when we hear back.