The ride-share operator Didi Chuxing looks to be the first major customer for the new EV joint venture by Magna and BAIC in China. Singulato Motors also looks to have the JV produce their vehicles in future.
The report breaking the news did not specify sources, but did have five of them confirm that the appropriate negotiations had been kept under tight wraps thus far. Magna could export their European business model, where they are manufacturing EVs for Mercedes, BMW and Jaguar as a contract partner. The model could be very successful in China, where there are several automobile startups who lack production capacities.
This background also explains the potential deals with Didi and Singulato. The Chinese ride-share operator has already been working with BAIC for some time to develop an EV specifically suited to their needs. By 2020, they plan to present their own vehicle which will be called the D1. Later, the D2 and D3 models will follow as upgrades are made. Didi is putting their iron in several fires with preparation for the production, and also announced a cooperation with Continental to develop networked EVs, which will be modified to help serve the unique needs of the ride-share operator.
Singulato can expand on the already existing cooperation with BAIC, which is focused on the development of intelligent vehicles and gaining access to their required resources. Their startup seems nearly ready to begin production, but does not yet have the required license for vehicle assembly. Time is also running low: the market launch for Singulato’s debut BEV iS6 was announced for the end of this year.
As a reminder: In June the automobile supplier Magna signed two joint venture agreements with Beijing Electric Vehicle (BJEV), the subsidiary of BAIC. The location for the JV is will be BAIC factory in Zhenjiang with a production capacity of up to 180,000 vehicles.
In October Magna announced the founding a of a joint venture in China for electrical motors with SAIC subsidiary Huayu Automotive Systems.