Chinese EV startup WM Motor says it is open to holding an initial public offering (IPO) in the States. The firm that aims to launch a comparably cheap EV bearing the label Weltmeister (German for world champion) already said last year that it had investment.
While the Trump administration is gearing for a potential (trade) war with China if not the whole world, WM Motor is looking into financing options in both the U.S. as well as at the Hong Kong stock exchange. For now, an IPO appears to be more of a floating idea though.
The Chinese startup puts its current capital just short of 2 billion dollars (12bn yuan), collected from investors such as Chengwei Capital, Envision Energy, Baidu Capital, SIG Asia and Ameba Capital last year.
WM Motor CEO Freeman Shen also told Bloomberg “Our first market will be China, so obviously listing in a market with our target customers will bring a lot of benefits.” The former Volvo executive added “On the other hand, our team is very global. Listing in the U.S. will also open up a lot of possibilities to work with different partners globally.”
Shen also explained that WM Motor is not in any particular hurry as funds suffice to finance the firm’s initial plans. Their first electric SUV model, the Weltmeister EX5 shall hit the stores in the second half of this year for less than 300,000 yuan (approx. 38,500 euros). Two other EVs are set to launch before 2020 and WM Motor aims to sell 100,000 cars a year within 3-4 years of the planned 2018 launch. All their electric cars will be made at the company’s plant in Wenzhou, that will then run on its capacity limit if WM Motor manages to reach its sales targets (we reported).
With regards to growing tensions and unequal trade tariffs between the USA and China, which Elon Musk had criticised, Shen called these a “formality” according to Bloomberg. Tesla continues to struggle gaining ground in China since plans for a production facility in Shanghai have come to a halt (we reported).