Byton has announced that their production launch for the electric SUV M-Byte will begin in April next year in China. The sales launch for China is planned for the second half of the year. In Europe and the US, the model will likely likely hit the market in the second half of 2020.
This was revealed in an interview with Byton CEO Carsten Breitfeld. He added that the startup had so far been keeping up with the ambitious plan they set for themselves in 2016. That means that the assembly facility in Nanjing is nearly done, and 30 prototypes of the M-Byte are currently undergoing testing for daily use. By the end of the year, the company plans to grow their fleet of prototypes to about 100 vehicles, a part of which will also be shipped to the USA, where Byton’s partner Aurora will be installing autonomous systems for further testing.
It is considered safe that the M-Byte will be offered with level 3 autonomous driving capacities at market launch next year. Byton is already laying the groundwork to set up level 4 autonomous driving capacities, although the company says it is still to early to estimate when the technology would be available to customers. The concept of the vehicle presented in January included an infotainment system featuring facial recognition technology, as well as a cloud platform. It is considered very likely that at least some of the presented features will be found in the final serial version of the vehicle on launch.
Looking towards their production launch, Byton also recently took over the FAW subsidiary Tianjin Huali, through which the company was able to secure a production license for China. For Byton’s second vehicle, the K-Byte, specific production plans have also been released, with production scheduled to begin in late 2020 for the electric sedan.
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