Byton given distribution license in California
Byton has received a distribution license from the US state of California and founded the subsidiary Byton Cars California LLC. The license allows Byton to sell vehicles via its own infrastructure.
When the news was recently announced at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Byton revealed they had already founded the Californian spin-off in May. The new subsidiary Byton Cars California will act as a retail company. Byton can now sell or lease its cars in California directly to customers. Online trading in the other states will then also be possible via the Californian subsidiary.
Byton’s first model, the M-Byte, was unveiled at the IAA in September and will be sold in China from 2020. The USA and Europe will follow in 2021. On the occasion of the start of series production in October, Byton-CCO Andras Schaaf gave some insights into the planned “hybrid sales and service model”. The carmaker wants to handle its own online channels for the website and app itself, but work “offline” with trading partners.
“The customer decides and chooses his (their) ‘customer journey’,” said Schaaf. “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 own infrastructure and staff.” So, even if the customer buys from a retail partner, Byton will always be the direct contractual partner.
“From the beginning, we have considered a hybrid retail model to be essential to provide Byton customers with the best possible ownership experience,” said Jose Guerrero, Managing Director of Byton Americas, LLC. “We are building a retail model that has never been tested in the U.S. before. The next pieces of the puzzle are the selection of our sales and service partners and securing our California dealer license. Currently, Byton is already accepting reservations for the M byte in the USA – but final US prices for the e-SUV are not yet available.