China’s electric car startup WM Motor wants to invest 685 million dollars to expand its production facility in Wenzhou as they aim to make 200,000 electric cars a year there. That’s basically doubling the capacity, just days after their first model rolled off the line.
The electric SUV dubbed EX5 is being produced as you read and will hit the shelves in China by autumn, bearing a price tag of 200,000 yuan. After the EX5 launches successfully, WM Motor got two more EVs lined up before 2020.
While previous plans reportedly stated the goal to sell 100,000 electric cars a year, that limit suddenly got doubled. Considering that WM Motor wants to offer at least one new electric car model each year at prices below 300,000 yuan (about 39,000 euros), such an increase of production seems necessary. As is competitive pricing in the ever more crowded EV segment in China.
WM Motor founder and chairman Freeman Shen Hui, who previously headed the China side of the Volvo Car Corporation, thus told reporters “We believe we will be the first among our peers to deliver a higher end EV product on a mass scale, by that I mean at least 10,000 units.”
Trading under the name of Weltmeister, German for world champion, WM Motor had recently aired plans to float the firm publicly, at least in the USA, but also said that there was no hurry as the initial financing stands.
Accordingly, Shen Hui now denied such plans. WM Motor counts powerful supporters among its backers. Shen, who played a key role in Geely’s acquisition of Sweden’s Volvo, also said WM Motor had raised 20 billion yuan of debt and equity financing from investors including China Minmetals Corporation, Envision Energy, Tencent and Baidu and financial investors such as China Structural Reform Fund Corporation and Sequoia Capital China.
The plant in Wenzhou runs on technology by Siemens.