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After devastating setbacks, EV maker Byton shows signs of resuming operations

The EV maker plans to enlarge its on-duty staff to 200 in the coming two weeks.

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Nanjing-headquartered electric vehicle (EV) maker Byton, which has suspended operations since July 1, has been struggling to come back to life by next month, 36Kr has learned.

The startup, which is best known for an EV model M-Byte, featuring a 48-inch video screen spanning the whole dashboard, announced a six-month suspension due to economic pressure from unfinished fundraising moves, KrASIA reported.

While Byton might seem like a lost cause to many, the company has applied to the governmental authorities to register a new company, called Shengteng in Chinese.

This new company, which is expected to be granted a business license by the end of this month, plans to raise RMB 2 billion (USD 289 million) to mass produce M-Byte vehicles with the help of Byton’s investor FAW, China’s oldest automaker.

In addition, Byton has also signed up with Nanjing Zhongshijiang Jianshe Gongcheng Company Limited to help it build light-current automatic control systems for a project which is designed to put out 300,000 key auto parts for EVs on August 22.

The EV maker, which furloughed thousands of employees, keeping just a skeleton crew of about 100 employees on reserve, has recalled about 30 workers and plans to enlarge its on-duty staff to 200 in the coming two weeks.

Byton’s key executives that have stayed to rescue the company are Ding Qingfen, chief of staff, Duan Lianxiang, vice president of global supply chain management and China R&D, as well as Ying Zhanwang, general manager of the company, according to 36Kr.

Byton has not responded to KrASIA’s request for a comment on its new development.

The news comes at a time when China’s electric vehicle market is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, with EV makers regaining confidence in the capital market.

Nio (NASDAQ: NIO) delivered 3,533 EVS vehicles in July 2020, increasing by 322.1% year-over-year, compared to 707 units in February, 1,533 in March and 3,155 in April. The EV maker’s stock price has rebounded from about USD 2.40 on March 16, one of its lowest days in the past six months, to USD 14.97 on Monday.

Beijing-based electric SUV maker Li Auto (NASDAQ: LI) raised USD 1.1 billion in its initial public offering at the end of last month, soaring 43% on its first trading day closing at USD 17.09 on Monday, still 48% higher than its IPO price.