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Chinese EV maker Byton says co-founder and chairman’s position is secure, rebutting reports of resignation 

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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Tesla’s Shanghai manufacturing plant increases pressure on Chinese competitors

China’s electric vehicle sector is crowded with traditional automakers and emerging startups, all of which spare no efforts to get their vehicles on the road.

Reuters reported Thursday that Carsten Breitfeld, chairman and co-founder of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Byton will leave the company soon under capital pressure, citing Manager Magazin, a German business monthly which attributed its information to several unnamed sources.

“The related media report was groundless, quoting equivocal sources and carrying no truth. We have no plan to respond to hearsay like this,” Byton said Friday in a written statement to KrAsia.

“Byton has announced the adjustment of governance structure in late January this year. Dr. Breitfeld remains an integral member of Team Byton under the new structure. There is no update on this topic at this point,” added the EV maker.

Under the new structure mentioned, Breitfeld serves as the chairman to coordinate among investors and Daniel Kirchert serves as the chief executive officer. Before that, Breitfeld was the CEO.

Breitfeld announced at the stage of tech show CES 2019 that the company planned to launch its first pure electric vehicle, the M-Byte, later this year.

Sale of new energy passenger cars including all-electric vehicles will hit 1.7 million units in 2019, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association. In March a total of 111,000 new energy passenger vehicles were sold in China, representing an increase by 100.9% year-on-year.

China aims to put five million new energy cars on the road by 2020. The country already has the world’s largest NEV stock, with cumulative sales of almost three million units as of 2018.

Tesla, which has contributed slightly to this stock, started earlier this year to construct its plant in Shanghai to mass produce its models locally and to sell them at a lower price later, bringing huge pressure to its Chinese followers.

Contact the writer at [email protected]

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