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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
https://auto.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/passenger-vehicle/uv/s-koreas-myongshin-to-build-evs-for-chinese-brand-at-ex-gm-plant/71298383

SEOUL: South Korea's Myongshin has agreed to build more than 50,000 electric vehicles a year for Chinese venture Future Mobility Corp (FMC) at a closed plant it bought from General Motors.

A parts supplier to Hyundai Motor and Tesla Inc , Myongshin signed a deal on Wednesday to build the electric vehicles for FMC's Byton brand beginning in 2021, the government of Jeonbuk province said in a statement.

...

Myongshin bought a factory from GM's local unit for 113 billion won ($94 million) in June after the U.S. carmaker closed one of its four South Korean plants last year.

Myongshin will produce Byton's M-Byte electric SUV in the factory in the southwestern city of Gunsan, the Jeonbuk provincial government said.
 

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The M-Byte has become available for pre-registration at zero cost in the Netherlands.

Large dealer group Louwman (mainly associated with Toyota/Lexus) will take care of delivery and service.

Three versions available
RWD, 200 kW motor, 72 kWh battery, 360 km range (WLTP)
RWD, 300 kW motor, 95 kWh battery, 460 km range
AWD, 300 kW motor, 95 kWh battery, 435 km range

Deliveries to start second half of 2021. Prices are yet unknown, but base version expected at €45.000 (which would be about 10% cheaper than the base Tesla Model Y).

https://www.autoweek.nl/autonieuws/artikel/byton-m-byte-te-reserveren-in-nederland/
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Byton M-Byte production model line-off:
http://news.bitauto.com/xinchexiaoxi/20200412/1611361355.html

Production of the M-Byte model has kicked off at the newly constructed factory of Nanjing Zhixing Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd. ("Nanjing Byton") situated in Qixia District of Nanjing city, Jiangsu (actually very close to Zhenjiang city, see location). Trial production was conducted last October.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Operations suspended indefinitely:
http://news.bitauto.com/zonghexinwen/20200630/1312004505.html

_________________________
Somewhat off-topic but related:

The fate of the other FAW-supported EV startup, Bordrin, also appears to be grim. Founder, Dr. Ximing Huang, has practically washed his hands off Nanjing Bordrin, having sneakily transferred (at dirt-cheap rates) technological and intangible assets to a "new company" to be headed by a new set of personnel, with the meager proceeds from this "sale" ostensibly to be used to temporarily pacify long-unpaid, angry employees and suppliers who have been getting increasingly vocal over the months. Basically, Nanjing Bordrin has turned into a "shell" with no worthwhile assets.

Just think of the devastating consequences for the hapless minority partner in the Tianjin Bordrin JV: the erstwhile carmaker FAW Xiali, now reduced to a metals trading company, is in the unenviable position of having no production plant, no manufacturing equipment or tooling, no production license (having given away both licenses -- to Byton and Bordrin), no viable partner, and no cars to sell (in its eagerness to join Bordrin, it had stopped selling the fairly new models A50, CX65 and D80, no doubt developed at considerable cost which has to be written off since it cannot be amortized within such a short time). Moreover, Nanjing Bordrin, which is entitled to hold 80.1% of the JV, has contributed only 14 million yuan of capital to date, out of the 2.034 billion yuan required from its side. FAW Xiali has said it will approach the courts.

http://finance.eastmoney.com/a/202006121519811915.html
http://auto.caijing.com.cn/2020/0611/4673222.shtml
 

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"The suspension is set to last six months, closely held Byton told staff in an email seen by Bloomberg News."
This is according to:
https://www.autonews.com/china/byton-suspend-production-reorganization

And this is just the fate of two larger well funded start-ups, that I had come to regard as among the high rollers. So what can we now expect of the smaller operations? It's going to be a rough ride ahead on all fronts.
On a brighter NEV note, FAW still does have Sitech.
 

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I don't know if it's interesting, but attached is Byton's email to its personnel. (As posted by Dkurac on twitter).

It's a shame all those big name investors (Foxconn, Tencent, FAW, CATL, iirc) apparantly let Byton stumble over a liquidity problem just as they go to market. It is (was?) probably one of the more promising startups, with interesting ideas about connectivity etc. And probably an acceptable brand in the Western markets due to its BMW engineering roots. I hope they'll find a way out of this.
 

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Thanks Leo for the closer look at the suspension circumstances.
As for Foxconn and Tencent, they had dropped out as investors in early 2017 and were replaced by Leaguer Auto and Jinheng Investments. These were then followed by Suning, Fullshare Holdings, FAW, TUS Holdings, Contemporary Amperex Technology, Jiangsu Belt & Road Fund, CATL, Nanjing Qiningfeng New Energy Industry Investment Fund, Marubeni, and Nanning Municipal Gov’t.
And in addition to those BMW engineering roots you mentioned were Infinity, Honda, Renault, Ford, Tesla and Apple.
As for BMW veteran, Carsten Breitfield, I wonder if he saw any writing on the wall last year.
Here again with Byton like Bordrin, as Erik says, we have a lot of Byton, Huali and Myoungshin workers who will be left jobless. Where's the accountability in all of it, Mr. Feng ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nanjing Shengteng

Some of you may have come upon this new endeavor to restart Byton's operations:
http://autonews.gasgoo.com/china_news/70017535.html

It now emerges that the Nanjing People's Government and FAW will have a greater say in the operations of the new company (a case of once bitten, twice shy), and two limited-partnership investor firms have also been roped in. There is also a plan to utilize the already completed factory by producing future electric Hongqi models, probably as a hedge against possible failure of the M-Byte (or its successor) in the marketplace.
 

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The last thing I've read is pretty much inline with dmitra's post above. Apparantly a rescue plan put forward by FAW has been approved the other shareholders. The plan entails:
-Setting up a new Shengteng Automobile, probably to get rid of some debt;
-Hongqi people will evaluate the M-Byte and re-engineer it to make it cheaper to produce;
-1/3 of the Nanjing factory capacity will be used to produce electric Hongqi's.

I haven't seen any official confrmation.

Last week, a Dutch website showed some patent drawings of a new Byton with sliding doors. (some pics attached).
 

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