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Aiways enters the fast lane to production with joint venture

By Zhang Dandan | China Daily | Updated: 2019-08-19 10:54
Focusing on its research and development of new energy vehicles, the Aiways brand aims to lure middle and high-end customers. [Photo by Ren Yuming/For China Daily]

A joint venture among Jiangling Motors Group, Changan Automobile and Chinese new energy vehicle startup Aiways was officially announced on Friday in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi province.

According to the information released, Aiways holds 50 percent of the joint venture's share. Jiangling Motors and Changan Automobile hold 25 percent each.

The joint venture will not only operate the Aiways brand but Jiangling's Landwind brand too.

"The Aiways brand and the Landwind brand will help the joint venture build a compelling product portfolio that covers the main domestic and foreign markets," said Fu Qiang, co-founder and president of Aiways, on Friday in Nanchang.

While the two brands target different types of customers, they will make their respective advantages - in terms of research and development, manufacturing and marketing - complementary to each other, Fu added.

With its products covering both conventional fuel vehicles and new energy cars, the Landwind brand targets middle and low-end customers.

Focusing on its research and development of new energy vehicles, the Aiways brand aims to lure middle and high-end customers.

The Landwind-branded cars and the Aiways-branded vehicles will be produced in the joint venture's two plants, located in Jiangxi province's Nanchang and Shangrao cities.

The two plants have three production platforms that allow the production of fuel vehicles, plug-in hybrids as well as fully electric cars, Fu said.

Before this, the Landwind brand was run by Jiangling Holdings - a joint venture between Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors. The brand suffered a fall in sales in 2018.

Last year, Jiangling Holdings sold 18,800 units of Landwind-branded cars, a sharp drop of 55 percent from 2017. The company had a full-year loss of 854 million yuan ($121.37 million).

The three-party cooperation is expected to inject new momentum into the Landwind brand by introducing advanced technology, manufacturing and operation systems. This is especially in terms of intelligent connectivity, product development and business management, according to the three shareholders.

Aiways, which was founded in 2016 in Shanghai, did not have its production qualification for producing new energy passenger vehicles until it held 50 percent of the three-party joint venture.

The automaker unveiled its first production model - the Aiways U5, a sport utility vehicle - in November 2018. It is scheduled to hit the market at the end of this year, and enter the European market by April 2020.

As the launch date of its first model approached, Aiways was keen to solve any problems of production qualification.

By joining hands with Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors the first model of Aiways is now poised to roll off the production line by the end of September, Fu said.

As early as June, Changan Automobile disclosed the cooperation deal between Aiways and Jiangling Holdings.

According to Changan's statement on June 4, Aiways is set to invest 1.75 billion yuan into Jiangling Holdings.

After the capital increase, the registered capital of Jiangling Holdings increases from 1 billion to 2 billion yuan.

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