Messy European exit to haunt Chinese EV maker Byton

For Nikkei Asia

HAMBURG, Germany — Byton, the formerly highflying Chinese electric vehicle startup which recently got a lifeline from Foxconn Technology Group, has largely abandoned its operations in Europe.

While moves since October to halt payment of wages and rent will save the struggling carmaker money, they are likely to hinder the startup’s hopes of growing sales in the continent’s rapidly expanding EV market.

„A carmaker with rumors of insolvency attached could be seen as a veritable financial risk and thus cause consumer reticence,“ said Stefan Bratzel, director of the Center of Automotive Management at the University of Applied Sciences in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, noting that reassurances about warranties and after-sales service are critical for buyers of a new auto brand.

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