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Lucid Group Appoints 3 Industry Veterans to Key Roles in Engineering, Sales, as the Company Prepares for Growth

Lucid Group Appoints 3 Industry Veterans to Key Roles in Engineering, Sales, as the Company Prepares for Growth

Author: Eric Walz   

Electric automaker Lucid Group is in high gear. The company launched its U.S IPO in July and started deliveries of its first vehicle, the luxurious and powerful Lucid Air sedan in November. Now the company continues to round out its leadership team to bolster its engineering expertise and customer service as it prepares for growth.

Lucid announced on Thursday the appointment of Ralph Jakobs as Vice President of Program Management, Zak Edson as Vice President of Sales and Service and Dr. Emad Dlala as Vice President of Powertrain.

Each bringing a wealth of expertise from automotive and high-tech companies such as Volkswagen Group and Tesla.

Jakobs brings 23 years of automotive experience to Lucid, including a series of technical and engineering roles. His experience includes management positions in Europe, the U.S. and China.

Jakobs was the CTO for Volkswagen and Audi at their largest joint venture in China and served as vice president of research and development activities for Volkswagen Group in China from 2016 to May 2019.

Lucid said that Jakobs is returning to the automotive industry after two years away. He decided to return and follow his passion for EV technology with Lucid Group

"Ralph brings decades of global automotive experience and passion that will help further establish core operational foundations, thereby allowing Lucid to scale across product lines critical to our next phase of growth," said Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO, Lucid. "The promotions of Emad and Zak reflect their years of significant contributions to Lucid in developing breakthrough technology and building a network to support the customer journey as we deliver Lucid Air to the world." 

Dr. Dlala has been with Lucid since 2015 serving in various technical roles. Prior to joining Lucid, Dr. Dlala worked at ANSYS Inc., a developer of computer-based engineering simulation innovations for automotive and aerospace applications.  

Dlala previously served as Lucid's Sr. Director of Efficiency and Energy Technology. Lucid said his power efficiency expertise was instrumental in leading Lucid's breakthrough technologies that achieved unmatched range and performance in the Lucid Air, topping 500 miles per charge while delivering over 1,000 horsepower from its compact electric powertrain. 

Dlala holds a PhD in electrical engineering from Aalto University, Finland. In his new role at Lucid, he will be responsible for leading the company's powertrain and battery engineering development.  

Zac Edson, previously Sr. Director of Sales and Service at Lucid, but has also held senior management positions at EV companies including Tesla and EV startup SERES EV.

At Tesla, Edson worked as Director of Global Product Planning and helped navigate the California company's high profile IPO in June 2010. In his new role at Lucid, Edson will lead his team to deliver on the next phase of Lucid, which the company says is building lasting relationships with customers. 

The Lucid Air was recently named 2021's "Car of the Year" by MotorTrend. It's considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in the auto industry. MotorTrend Car of the Year judges evaluated six key criteria for the award, including efficiency, value, advancement in design, engineering excellence, safety, and performance.

Lucid also made other key appointments earlier this year ahead of its IPO this past summer.

In May, Lucid promoted Jeff Curry as Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Curry joined Lucid in a permanent capacity after consulting on the company's marketing strategy since Dec 2019. He previously served as Vice President of luxury brand Jaguar and Vice President of Marketing for Italian sports car manufacturer Ferrari.

In July 2019, Lucid hired Peter Hochholdinger from Tesla to serve as its VP of Manufacturing. While at Tesla, Hochholder oversaw the production of the Model 3, Tesla's first mass-market car. Prior to Tesla, Hochholdinger spent 24 years at Audi, where he rose to Senior Director of Production for the Audi A4, A5, and Q5.

Rawlinson said in 2019 that Hochholdinger's experience in manufacturing will help the company to launch the Lucid Air and other luxury electric models in the future. 

Rawlinson himself is an auto industry veteran. He joined Lucid in 2013 after working at Tesla under Elon Musk. At Tesla, he served as Vice President of Vehicle Engineering and Chief Engineer of the Model S. Prior to Tesla, he was Chief Engineer at Lotus Cars and Principal Engineer at Jaguar Cars.

Lucid is planning to deliver a luxury electric SUV by 2023. It's currently in development under the code name "Project Gravity." With the various appointments of industry veterans to key roles this year, Lucid appears ready to take on Tesla and others in the luxury-performance EV segment.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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