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It seems all of the recent activity that we see described here is part of the ongoing rush of auto, and non-auto, entities to cater to the government's current NEV push. They all see definite advantages to climbing aboard.

Following the establishment of the Jiangbei Project, which the China Daily dated as occurring in January 2014, I read, at Han Tang's wautom.com website, the following, concerning the "Project". I hope it sheds some light on the question of vehicles vs. parts.

"A few days ago, a company called “Wuhu Kaiyi Automotive Co., Ltd.” rose to the surface. Kaiyi Auto was registered in the Wuhu Jiangbei Industrial Concentrative Area, and the director of the Anhui Jiangbei Industrial Concentrative Area Administrative Commission said in an interview, “Kaiyi Auto is Chery’s Jiangbei Project.” Different from the previous speculation that Chery Jiangbei Project undertook Chery’s knockout assets in transition, Kaiyi Auto, with a registered capital of RMB 2 billion, also integrates Chery’s existing assets other than passenger cars, and the peripheral businesses like Chery’s commercial car, micro car Karry, etc. will also be involved in “Kaiyi Auto.”The registration information of Kaiyi Auto indicates that it is a commercial vehicle manufacturer. Data show that the company’s business scope covers vehicle and parts technical development, auto parts manufacturing, auto (excluding passenger cars with less than 9 seats) and auto parts sales. However, this does not mean that Kaiyi Auto does not deal passenger car business. “Kaiyi is a vehicle manufacturer producing both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles with Karry and Chery low-end passenger cars as the mainstream products,” said by an insider from Chery. This structure resembles much that of SGMW."

However as late as December 2016, gasgoo.com described the creation of Cowin this way:
Cowin Auto was a project of north of the Yangtze River (Jiangbei) set up in 2013 by Chery and was widely regarded as a product of Chery’s act to strip bad assets off.

I agree with you Laofan, that it is indeed complicated.

As for Wuliangye, they have been after a piece of the auto industry action for some time now, having invested in Brilliance engine production and more recently rumored to be making a bid for Chery itself, along with Hybrid Kinetic, Baidu, Baoneng, and Dong Mingzhu, chairman of Gree Appliances.
It's interesting to imagine what Chery would be like with someone like the former Brilliance chief, Yang Rong, at the helm.
 

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"A few days ago, a company called “Wuhu Kaiyi Automotive Co., Ltd.” rose to the surface. Kaiyi Auto was registered in the Wuhu Jiangbei Industrial Concentrative Area, and the director of the Anhui Jiangbei Industrial Concentrative Area Administrative Commission said in an interview, “Kaiyi Auto is Chery’s Jiangbei Project.” Different from the previous speculation that Chery Jiangbei Project undertook Chery’s knockout assets in transition, Kaiyi Auto, with a registered capital of RMB 2 billion, also integrates Chery’s existing assets other than passenger cars, and the peripheral businesses like Chery’s commercial car, micro car Karry, etc. will also be involved in “Kaiyi Auto.”The registration information of Kaiyi Auto indicates that it is a commercial vehicle manufacturer. Data show that the company’s business scope covers vehicle and parts technical development, auto parts manufacturing, auto (excluding passenger cars with less than 9 seats) and auto parts sales. However, this does not mean that Kaiyi Auto does not deal passenger car business. “Kaiyi is a vehicle manufacturer producing both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles with Karry and Chery low-end passenger cars as the mainstream products,” said by an insider from Chery. This structure resembles much that of SGMW."
Whatever had been the intention behind the establishment of Jiangbei Project (let's call it Wuhu Kaiyi ver. 1.0), all that changed when the amalgamation with PLA No. 5720 Factory successor occurred in 2015, along with the gain of a license (let's call it Wuhu Kaiyi ver. 2.0). "Chery's existing assets other than passenger cars" (parts making?) could have been offloaded to Kaiyi in the meantime, but we know that neither Chery Commercial nor Karry was eventually incorporated into Kaiyi. Also, Kaiyi could not have been a "vehicle manufacturer producing both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles" in early 2014 because it did not have a license then. PLA 5720 Factory's license was at that time in the hands of the erstwhile Anhui Ruihong Automobile Co. (see note below), and it would be more than a year later that Anhui Ruihong Automobile Co. would transform into Wuhu Kaiyi (ver. 2.0, as I say).

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Note: There is an existing company also called Anhui Ruihong Automobile Co., formerly Anhui Ruihong Bus Technology Co. (est. 2011), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wuhu → Yibin Kaiyi.
 

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So Karry which escaped a name change when Chery co-brands, Rely and Riich were dropped, never did become a part of the Wuhu Kaiyi project. In fact it seems to have been off on its own in Kaifeng, Henan Province, since 2010.
I have asked for clarification of this from the source I quoted.

Just a note about Cowin's ambitious direction at the time of it's spin off from Chery proper. In August 2014 Taiwan-based wantchinatimes.com had this to say:

"Cowin Auto is looking to develop smart and connected passenger vehicles with smartphone maker Xiaomi and internet search giant Baidu."

As for the licensing issue, we are reminded that back around 2000 Chery itself, had to submit to SAIC's stakehold (twenty percent), in order to get a license to start it's earliest production.
 

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Yibin Cowin

Cowin Auto's new plant in Yibin, Sichuan, was officially inaugurated on the 7th. The plant is situated in Cuiping District. The base has been jointly set up by the Yibin City government and Chery Auto Yibin Branch, and will produce models of Chery New Energy besides, obviously, Cowin vehicles. Currently the Cowin X5 has entered serial production. Assembly of the Chery eQ1 (Ant) and other new Cowin-badged SUVs is expected later this year.




http://k.sina.com.cn/article_6451780299_1808e5acb00100cwxu.html?from=auto&subch=bauto
https://sichuan.scol.com.cn/ggxw/201901/56797976.html

Video: https://v.qq.com/x/page/h0824x53vq1.html
 
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