The Chinese electric car brand Byton has now started production of the pre-production series of its first M-Byte model at its Nanjing plant. The manufacturer says it already has 50,000 reservations for the EV worldwide.
According to the announcement, the M-Byte will be offered at an entry-level price of 45,000 euros excluding VAT and possible government subsidies. This model has a 200 kW powerful rear engine and a 72 kWh battery (360 km range according to WLTP). Byton did not reveal the price for the 4WD high-performance configuration (300 kW drive, 95 kWh battery, 435 kilometre-range) in their press release.
The pre-series models, some of which are still handcrafted, will be subjected to final tests and production in Nanjing will slowly be ramped up. Chinese customers will receive the first series models in mid-2020. At the end of 2020, Byton will also begin to accept advance orders from Europe and North America to start deliveries there in mid-2021.
Byton is already preparing in this regard as the company is developing concepts while conducting negotiations with potential retail and after-sales partners in all relevant EU markets. According to Byton, various letters of intent on strategic cooperation were signed a few days ago – for example with Hedin Automotive in Sweden, the French BYmyCAR Group, Salvador Caetano from Portugal and Modern Driving from Switzerland.
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“We received very positive feedback on the BYTON M-Byte at the IAA Frankfurt and in the following weeks,” said CEO and founder Daniel Kirchert. “At the same time, we are also confirmed in our concept by the current developments on the various European markets. We clearly notice this momentum in the current discussions with retail and after-sales partners,” he added.
Byton is planning a “hybrid sales and service model” that will be handled directly by Byton via the website’s own online channels and app, but “offline” with trading partners. “Depending on the market, there will be a varying number of Byton places, which will allow the brand and our products to be experienced in urban locations. These partners will use their infrastructure and staff. Byton is always the only direct contracting party for the customer. ” says CCO Andreas Schaaf. Even if the customer buys from a retail partner, Byton will still be the direct contractual partner.
According to Schaaf, Norway and other Nordic countries will be the priority in the European region, with Norway making up 14,000 of vehicle reservations alone. Schaaf assured, however, that Germany, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and Belgium, but also France, Switzerland and Great Britain are also critical European markets for Byton. He said there would be a “staggered roll-out”.
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