(Adds details on Jia Yueting and Faraday’s sister company LeEco)
By Paul Lienert
DETROIT, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Startup Faraday Future has stopped construction of a planned $1 billion electric vehicle factory in North Las Vegas, the company said on Tuesday, another sign of trouble for Chinese tech entrepreneur Jia Yueting, who hoped to displace Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors Inc.
Faraday Future, based in Gardena, California, reportedly missed several payment deadlines with contractor AECOM, according to a Nevada state official. A Faraday spokesperson declined to confirm whether it missed payments, but said Faraday “is working with” AECOM during an “adjustment period” at the plant and that it planned to restart work at the plant in 2017.
Faraday is part of a network of young EV companies in China and the United States backed by Jia, who said last week his company LeEco, which has invested in high-tech products from electric cars to smartphones, faced a shortage of cash and was suffering from expanding too fast and in too many directions.
Earlier Tuesday, LeEco’s parent, Leshi Holdings, said it had secured commitments in China for $600 million to support LeEco.
LeEco said in August it would invest nearly $2 billion to build an electric car plant in eastern China.
Earlier, Faraday negotiated a deal to build a $1 billion plant in Nevada, with the state providing more than $200 million in incentives.
The Faraday spokesman on Tuesday said the company is “refocusing its resources” on preparing its first production vehicle for introduction in early January at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. (Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by David Gregorio)