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Evergrande in prime driving seat for EV production on the back of five major acquisitions

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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It’s much fanfare for an old model.

Evergrande New Energy Automotive Group, the electric vehicle arm of real estate developer China Evergrande Group, held a launch ceremony in a Tianjin plant on Saturday to mark its first mass-produced NEVS 93 electric vehicle rolling off the assembly line, according to a news report by Xinhua News Agency.

Without revealing prices and sales channels for the new EV model, the report stated that research and development of the NEVS 93 had been finalized before Evergrande acquired Swedish automaker NEVS in January this year.

Prior to the Evergrande acquisition, however, NEVS had started handing over NEVS 93 cars to early buyers two weeks before a majority stake in the company was sold to Evergrande Health, a subsidiary of China Evergrande Group. NEVS vice general manager Tang Lin said the company was shipping 500 units of the car to government procurers and ride-hailing platforms.

The NEVS 93’s 8,000 individual buyers, who reserved their vehicles through JD.com and other pre-sales channels like WeChat and its mini-programs, Tang said, would have to wait until March, though it is unclear whether all clients had already received their vehicles.

NEVS had set up an online store on JD.com, preselling the NEVS 93 at RMB 169,800 (USD 25,000) after the application of a government subsidy. Buyers were required to put down a deposit of RMB 2,000 to reserve a unit.

The Chinese Central Government had a state subsidy for EV buyers up to RMB 50,000 in 2018. Local governments offered subsidies as well. However, the Central government slashed subsidies by 50% this year, while those offered by local governments were lifted completely.

Building an EV brand through acquisitions

The NEVS 93 is the first vehicle released by Evergrande after it began a run of five major acquisitions in the EV sector this year.

In January, Evergrande Health gained controlling stakes in NEVS and car battery producer Shanghai CENAT New Energy. That same month, NEVS agreed to pay a total of EUR 150 million (USD 171 million) to buy for-sale shares and new shares from another Swedish automaker KAAB’s parent company Alpraaz AB. It also set up a joint venture with KAAB, with NEVS investing in a 65% stake, to co-produce EVs.

In March, Evergrande agreed to buy a 70% share of auto parts maker TeT Drive, which owns Netherlands-based EV motor producer e-Traction.

In May, Evergrande Health announced that its subsidiary NEVS had acquired Protean Holdings, a UK-based producer of in-wheel electric motors for passenger cars.

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