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Chairman Mao’s limousine could be regenerated with assistance from an EV startup



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BEIJING — China’s FAW Group, a automaker that grown a “Red Flag” limousine for Chairman Mao Zedong 6 decades ago, is operative with a internal electric-car association led by former BMW managers to revitalise a brand.

State-owned FAW is announcing on Friday an investment in Nanjing-based Byton, a startup before famous as Future Mobility, pronounced Daniel Kirchert, one of Byton’s founders. The dual companies are also deliberating skeleton to concur in product development, manufacturing, supply-chain supervision and sales, Kirchert said.

FAW Group, that built a initial “Hongqi” — Chinese for Red Flag — for Mao in 1958, began a new turn of efforts to revitalise a code after Xu Liuping took over as authority of a association final year. Xu aims to boost sales of a Red Flag code 100 times by 2025 to about 300,000 units a year.

Byton was founded by a group of maestro executives including Kirchert, a former conduct of Infiniti in China, and Carsten Breitfeld, a former plan manager for BMW’s i8 plug-in sports car.

Byton, that in Jan denounced a $45,000 electric SUV during a CES in Las Vegas, has been seeking a prolongation assent from a Chinese government. The National Development and Reform Commission, that oversees new investments in a automobile industry, halted a permit module final year to rein in extreme ability expansion. Teaming adult with FAW Group would assistance Byton safeguard assembly a possess aim of starting car prolongation subsequent year.

“Red Flag is a good code in a universe with surpassing heritage,” pronounced Kirchert, adding he used to have a 1958 Red Flag tiny indication on his desk. “We have advantage in a margin of foundation and FAW have abounding resources as well.”

Byton is drumming Contemporary Amperex Technology for battery supply, and is operative with Baidu on areas such as mapping and voice recognition, Kirchert said.

Byton is deliberation an initial open charity down a road, yet hasn’t motionless on a location, Kirchert said. Byton’s stream financing turn is underneath approach and will surpass $400 million, he said.

Contact Automotive News


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