Greentech Automotive is the hybrid vehicle firm founded by the former CEO of Brilliance with plans to build a plant in Mississippi with funds raised through the EB-5 visa program. Not to be comfused with Hybrid Kinetic Motors, the hybrid vehicle firm founded by the former Chairman of Brilliance with plans to build a plant in Alabama with funds raised through the EB-5 visa program. Now that we have that clarified, we can declare Greentech the frontrunner of these two competing enigmas, for at least showing a few hecho-en-China prototypes. The DeSoto Times describes the prototype models as a hybrid coupe that can deliver 45 miles per gallon and go from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, a four-door, mid-size hybrid which should deliver 50 mpg, a zero-emission electric sub-compact capable of traveling 80 miles on a three-hour charge and a high-efficiency gasoline sub-compact capable of 65 mpg. Initial factory plans call for a $1b phase-one investment, which will get the plant to 150k annual capacity and employ 1,500 workers. Eventually, Greentech hopes to employ 4,500 workers building 250k units per year, and –get this– capture one third of the US market.
Unfortunately, there’s the minor issue of raising money. CEO Charles Wang is quoted dropping this less-than-reassuring line:
Every investor, everyone is crucial. It’s not a small project. Everyone is important. We want to thank the State of Mississippi, the Tunica County Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Coast Automotive Fund, our investors and business partners for their continued assistance in making this project a reality,” Wang said. “We are excited to be bringing the latest in automotive innovation to Americans, made by Americans, and we look forward to the very significant impact that our project will have on the local and regional economic landscape.
The firm’s factory will cost $6.5b to reach full capacity. Forbes reports that Greentech will bring 60 to 80 more of the Chinese-built prototypes to the US for EPA testing, in hopes of beginning production in three years. Though Greentech is clearly trying to seem like the less crazy of the two competing crazy Chinese would-be hybrid automakers by distancing from Yung Yeung’s 1m annual production goal, there’s still plenty of crazy in his plan. A greenfield factory, a quicky $2b capital drive, cars based on Chinese-built prototypes and a still-heady goal of capturing a third of the US market all paint a picture that few will be jumping at investing in. In fact, where is Chinese EV investor extraordinaire Warren Buffett in all this? If nothing else, we get the feeling that Greentech and Hybrid Kinetic will provide plenty of grist for the TTAC mill going forward.