Yesterday, Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR) announced that it has achieved a key milestone. It’s been a difficult start to the year for the lidar tech innovator, but yesterday brought exciting news.
On April 13, the company reported that it has successfully built out and brought up its new high-volume manufacturing facility with significant automated technology. Located in Monterrey, Mexico, the factory has already begun shipping out the Luminar Iris censors it has produced to the company’s “lead global high-volume series production customer.”
In a company video, Luminar noted that the facility is the result of efforts it has been making since 2016. LAZR hasn’t risen in response to the news, but when markets adjust, it will likely reverse course. This news marks a key milestone for Luminar for the year ahead of guidance.
What’s Happening With LAZR Stock
While LAZR stock hasn’t pulled into the green today, it has tried hard to come close. As of this writing, it is down just 0.17% for the day after making numerous attempts to rally. Part of this is due to general negative market momentum. Fellow lidar producers such as Innoviz Technologies (NASDAQ:INVZ) and Aeva Technologies (NYSE:AEVA) are both deeper into the red today than Luminar. However, the latter is up almost 2% for the week after displaying some growth yesterday. And this recent factory update gives investors more reason to bet on it than ever.
That’s not to say that LAZR didn’t already have plenty to offer. Luminar has a global reach that spans the United States, Mexico and Thailand. In the past year, it has announced deals with auto industry giants such as Volvo (OTCMKTS:VLVLY) and Mercedez-Benz (OTCMKTS:MBGYY). Elon Musk has publicly criticized lidar technology but as InvestorPlace has reported, there is ample evidence to suggest that Luminar has the technology to help other automakers overtake Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) in the driverless race.
Now the company is better positioned to continue expanding its market share. In a statement released by Luminar, CEO Austin Russell laid out what this new facility will mean, stating:
“Industrialization is the fundamental challenge to enable and scale with our high volume series production wins. The successful bring-up of the automated factory is a major milestone and continues to show we can execute. This enables an increase in capacity by well over an order of magnitude as compared to our existing, manual line to meet our growing automaker requirements on volume.”
The Road Ahead
Luminar’s new facility is operated by Celestica, its manufacturing partner. According to Luminar’s statement, it will have the capacity to produce as many as 250,000 sensors per year, a number that could ultimately be expanded to 500,000 per year. The company is betting big on the future of automated work as a means of streamlining production in attempt to meet the projected growing demand for lidar technology. If this pays out, and there’s no reason to suspect that it won’t, LAZR stock could skyrocket in the coming months.
LAZR stock is still recovering from a difficult year, during which it has shed more than 50% of its value. However, steps like this are exactly what investors should want to see. They demonstrate that the company is focused on growth and is doing what it takes to garner a bigger share of a booming market.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.