The Chinese real estate group Evergrande is bringing specialized expertise on board for its ambitious electric car plans. The company has now officially signed cooperation agreements with FEV Group, EDAG, IVA Group, AVL and Magna.
Evergrande also announces that it will develop 15 models together with its partners and sell five million of its electric cars within ten years. According to an accompanying press release, the range should extend from ultra-luxury to luxury to mid-range. According to “Automobilwoche”, the company plans to hire 8,000 specialists for the project. The subsidiary Evergrande New Energy Automobile Group will coordinate the market activities in the e-mobility sector.
The five new partners, who have collectively signed their contracts at the group’s Chinese headquarters in Shenzhen, southern China, are three German, one Austrian and one Canadian group. They work in the fields of automotive research, engineering and design, including chassis, powertrain, electrical-electronic architecture, vehicle integration and interior design. Renowned customers already include manufacturers such as Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Toyota and Ford.
Evergrande speaks of the big success: “The Group strives for global leadership in e-vehicle technologies and production quality,” says Xu Jiayin, Chairman of the Evergrande Group. The deal is an important milestone for Evergrande and China, but also of “groundbreaking importance in the history of the global automotive industry”, the press release says modestly.
It is a fact that Evergrande is pushing fast. After entering the market last year, the previously unrelated group now has Chinese production facilities in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin and Shenyang. According to Automobilwoche, the company manufactures all models of its Hengchi brand there, which already offers alternative powered vehicles.
In order to become competitive quickly, Evergrande has concluded a number of contracts with European companies. In January of this year, for example, the group became the new main owner of the electric car manufacturer National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), which in turn acquired 20 per cent of the shares of the Swedish sports car manufacturer Koenigsegg shortly afterwards. In July Evergrande founded a joint venture with the German company Hofer for the development and production of electric drives. At the beginning of this month, the company also acquired the intellectual property rights to the Chassis Architecture 3.0 for electric cars from the supplier Benteler and the FEV Group.
As far as production is concerned, Evergrande is investing the equivalent of 23 billion dollars in the construction of three plants for electric vehicles and their components in Guangzhou. It plans to build one production facility for no less than one million electric cars per year and two additional plants for the production of batteries with a total capacity of 50 GWh per year as well as electric motors and electronic control systems.
By the way, Evergrande’s first attention was drawn in the middle of last year as an investor in Faraday Future. The deal, which was jointly negotiated and worth two billion dollars, was regarded as a lifeline for the startup in 2018, which was struggling with financial turbulence. In October 2018 it was surprisingly announced that the electric car manufacturer wanted to withdraw from the agreement with Evergrande Health. This was followed by mutual recriminations for not keeping to the deal. In the meantime, however, calm has returned. Evergrande holds 32 percent of the shares in Faraday Future.