The new company we are talking about is the Future Mobility Corp (FMC), and they are basically a Chinese electric-car maker that is considered to be a No.1 Tesla challenger in China. As we managed to find out, the first car that will compete with what Tesla has to offer will hit the market in 2019, and it has a design that will not only meet the safety requirements in China but also those of US and Europe as well.
Daniel Kirchert, co-founder and president of FMC, held a media briefing on Wednesday and stated that “China has the potential to have two to three Tesla-size companies and that means globally successful electric-car makers. We are hoping to be one of them. So we are based in China and have an eye for the global market.” The FMC is filled with former executives from BMW and engineers who worked for Google and Tesla and just recently they ended the first funding round where they gathered US$200 million thanks to an investment fund of Suning Holdings and state-owned companies from Jiangsu province.
Kirchert also said that the FMC plans to unveil their “beautifully designed” concept during next year’s CES (global consumer electronics and consumer technology exhibition) which is taking place in January in Las Vegas. The FMC plans to open sales reservation for Chinese customers at the beginning of 2018, and the global plan is to broaden their reach gradually after that, sometime later the same year. The concept car Kirchert is talking about will be a luxury SUV priced between 300.000 yuan (US $44,833) and 500.000 yuan, which is, according to what Kirchert claims, a well positioned to directly compete with the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.
FMC has a tough job ahead of them, and they are going head-to-head with a bunch of mainland’s electric car startups, including NextEV and Zhiche Auto when the production of smart cars that feature internet connectivity and much better in-car info and entertainment systems. On this topic, Kirchert stated that “The DNA of traditional car makers is engineering, which makes it difficult for them to transform in the increasingly digitalised world and that gives us a huge opportunity.”
We also managed to find out that there are two more rounds of funding in 2018 that the FMC will need in order to see the creation of a brand new car manufacturer from scratch. The company plans to build a 10 billion yuan factory, and it is scheduled to break ground in September, with the fact that factory will have an initial capacity of 100.000 units per year and will eventually expand capacity to 300.000 units per year.