Luminar Signals Delay in New Product Commercialization

Lidar manufacturer’s next generation product may be delayed by as much as a year.

March 1, 2022

With a goal of making cars uncrashable, Luminar Technologies (LAZR), a manufacturer of lidar and autonomous driving technology, is signaling its next generation product will be delayed. In its latest 10-K, Luminar revealed its 2021 operating cash burn nearly doubled to $148.4 million and inserted new language revealing its vehicle vision product Hydra will be discontinued:

“We plan to stop new production and shipments of Hydra in 2022 as we transition to newer products.”

Some of the company’s new products will not be ready as soon as the company had previously promised. Luminar’s Hydra replacement Iris— an autonomous driving offering built on the same core technology as Hydra— will not be ready as soon as originally thought. In the prior year’s annual report, Luminar stated it would begin production on Iris in 2022.

In its latest annual report, Luminar inserted new language suggesting the possibility production will not start this year:

“...starting production in late 2022 or early 2023.”

In reiterating the delay later in the filing, Luminar inserted new language providing additional detail regarding the delay:

“...begin commercial deliveries of our lidar-based products, which are not expected to begin until late 2022 or early 2023 and may occur later or not at all as we face challenges setting up outsourced manufacturing.”

Separately, Luminar identified multiple control deficiencies due to its lack of expertise in its accounting and internal audit functions. The problems carry the potential to impact virtually all of the company’s accounts:

“The above material weaknesses have the potential to cause material accounting errors in substantially all financial statement account balances and disclosures if not remediated.”

We note Luminar generously awarded its new auditor Deloitte & Touche a 31% fee increase compared to what the prior auditor was paid the previous year.

Lastly, investors curious about the $29.5 million in stock Luminar awarded its new Chief Legal Officer Alan Prescott are reminded he was poached from Tesla, where he was the company’s General Counsel for the past four years.

Related: TSLA, GM, NVDA, INTC, AMZN, GOOGL

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