By on June 30, 2020

Chinese electric car startup Byton will reportedly idle production next month as it attempts to reorganize itself. While the coronavirus emerged as a villain in this play, the issues confronting Byton actually seem pretty dire. The company isn’t just idling factories to address a health crisis, it’s shutting things down for six months while it engages in more fundraising and tries to pay what’s owed to employees.

That’ll be tough with no normal income. Byton has already furloughed a large portion of its staff in California and plans to cease all production in Nanjing. While we knew the PRC’s approach to electrification would ultimately result in countless EV startups going under, we didn’t expect Byton to be among them. Slick products, good marketing, and interesting designs made it seem like it could go the distance — now it seems wholly preoccupied with survival. (Read More…)

By on May 23, 2017

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China’s Netflix equivalent, LeEco, confirmed it would be eliminating the better part of its North American workforce today. LeEco has recently gotten involved in a myriad of expensive tech-focused endeavors that have wound up screwing its finances six ways from Sunday. One of those projects was serving as the primary financial backer of America’s Faraday Future, the electric car company we’ve been scrunching our faces at for over a year now.

Faraday seems to have encountered or created every problem an automotive startup could imagine and, with its primary source of income shrinking its U.S. employee base by 70 percent, things have never looked worse.  (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2017

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If you don’t remember Hybrid Kinetic Group, that’s because it nearly vanished from western news after promising to build a 1.5 billion dollar factory in Alabama for its $300,000 hybrid-electric. That factory, planned in 2009, ended up being unable to secure financing after receiving some state-sponsored help to get the ball rolling. It’s a similar story to what happened to a company, ran by the former CEO of China’s Brilliance Auto, in Mississippi and the contemporary situation with Faraday Future in Nevada. In the case of Hybrid Kinetic, the firm managed to secure some visas and financial aid from Alabama before pulling out of the United States in 2011 — presumably never to be heard from again.

However, earlier this month, HK made an appearance at the Geneva International Motor Show with a car that it now says it fully anticipates selling on the American market. The sedan is the result of a 68 million dollar deal with Italian design house Pininfarina to assist the Chinese company in producing a handsome and — more importantly — real electric luxury vehicle for the global marketplace.  (Read More…)

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