Byton stops electric car production in China

The EV startup from China faces major problems. The ambitious expansion plans are at stake, production is at a standstill.

BYTON M-Byte Makes Asian Debut at Guangzhou Autoshow in November 2019 – (photo by Byton)

The corona crisis is putting Chinese electric car manufacturer Byton under pressure. The company, which was founded three years ago with ambitious expansion plans, announced on Tuesday that production would be suspended from July 1 in order to reorganize itself.

“The coronavirus pandemic posed major challenges for Byton’s financing and operations,” said the company, whose investors include state-owned automaker FAW and battery maker CATL. After consultation with the shareholders, the decision was therefore taken to launch a plan to reduce personnel costs and to strategically reorganize.

Byton is one of a series of newly founded Tesla challengers with which China wants to build its own electric car industry. The start-up from Nanjing was one of the few who were trusted to gain a foothold outside of China. The management drummed for the M-Byte electric SUV, which will also be launched in Europe in 2021, was at several auto shows, most recently at the IAA in Frankfurt last year.

In April, Byton sent hundreds of employees on vacation to Santa Clara, California. Byton was launched in September 2017 by Future Mobility, a company co-founded by former BMW and Nissan managers.

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