In China, another electric car startup, Bordrin Motors is in the starting blocks. By means of a joint venture with FAW Xiali, Bordrin plans to start series production of its first iV6 model this year: an electric crossover with a range of up to 610 km. Bordrin is also planning its own factory in Shanghai.
Bordin’s first electric car, the iV6 is scheduled to go on sale in the first quarter of 2020. The joint venture between Bordrin and FAW Xiali, a subsidiary of the Chinese car manufacturer FAW, is tentatively called “Tianjin Bordrin Automobile Co., Ltd.” The final name is subject to the approval of the industrial and commercial registration authority. The joint venture is 80.1 per cent owned by Bordrin and is based in Tianjin in northern China with a total share capital of 2.54 billion yuan (356.7 million dollars).
The iV6 was shown for the first time at the Shanghai Auto Show in April, along with another fully-electric vehicle the iV7 and three original electric platforms, i-LP, i-MP and i-SP. The crossover iV6 looks like a limousine that has been raised – presumably because of the battery in the underbody – or an SUV coupé that has been lowered a little, depending on how you look at it. The front-engine version is to deliver 120 kW, the all-wheel-drive model up to 230 kW. Bordin have not included information on the battery and the cells used on their homepage.
Bordrin is also planning its own plant in Shanghai, which is to start production in the course of the coming year. The number of IV6 to be produced has not yet been revealed. The joint venture partner FAW Xiali allegedly has an annual production capacity of 400,000 vehicles.
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Former Ford engineer Ximing Huang founded Bordrin in 2016. Ximing Huang is also said to be behind the US-based development service provider AVT and the service provider COTECH founded in Shanghai in 2008. Currently, Bordrin has four R&D centres in Detroit, Nanjing, Shanghai and Beijing.
According to Chinese newsite Gasgoo, Bordrin’s partners in the joint venture, FAW Xiali, wrote: “Combining Bordrin’s advanced R&D system and planning for abundant products with FAW Xiali’s lean production model, the joint venture will be dedicated to offering consumers all-new auto products and services.” The joint venture will have two production bases in Tianjin and Nanjing, and two planned sites in Shanghai Lingang and Jiangsu Huai’an.
According to Gasgoo, the new joint venture aims to research, develop and sell personal vehicles, auto parts, engines, electric drive systems, battery packs, energy storage systems, electronic parts and internal combustion engine components.
While the FAW Xiali mother company FAW is an established player in the Chinese automotive market, and itself a joint venture partner of Volkswagen and Toyota, its subsidiary FAW Xiali, on the other hand, is not doing so well financially. In the first half of 2019, the operating income fell by more than 60 per cent, with the net profit attributable to shareholders showing a loss of 55 million yuan. The joint venture with Bordrin Motors could be a kind of lifeline for FAW Xiali. At the beginning of 2018, FAW Xiali had to shut down large parts of its production due to heavy losses and lack of demand. According to the news site ChinaPEV, the joint venture will take over FAW Xiali’s debts as well as the production of the iV6 and later the planned iV7.
The coming months will show to what extent these economic conditions influence the mass production of the iV6 and the future of Bordrin Motors in general. One thing is clear: After the events surrounding Nio (more than 70 per cent of the share price lost in 2019 alone) and Faraday Future’s production model, which has been postponed further and further, investors in Chinese electric car start-ups have become more cautious.
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