China's Evergrande Group on Tuesday announced plans to invest $6.42 billion over the next three years to develop electric cars.
Evergrande is one of China's biggest companies with operations in the health, real estate, tech and tourism sectors. Its foray into the auto industry got off to a rocky start with an initial investment in Faraday Future that was finalized at the start of 2019. Shortly after, Evergrande bought a controlling stake in NEVS, which owns 20 percent of Koenigsegg.
Outlining the plans at a presentation in Guangzhou, China, Hui Ka Yan, Evergrande's chairman, said the company will establish ten production sites at locations in China, Sweden, and other countries taking part in the Chinese-led Belt and Road initiative. He also revealed that Evergrande is simultaneously developing as many as 15 models spanning various segments.
Some, or possibly all, of the models will be sold under the newly established Hengchi brand, which will focus on the Chinese market. The first model will be called the Hengchi 1 and debut in the first half of 2020. A full range of models is to follow in 2021.
Evergrande is working with a number of major automotive suppliers and designers, one of which is Italy's Pininfarina. The company has a stated goal of having the capacity to build one million EVs within three years. Whether Evergrande will be able to sell that many EVs isn't clear. Last year, Chinese buyers bought 1.25 million so-called New Energy Vehicles, which includes both plug-in hybrids and battery-electric cars, though this was propped up by state subsidies that the government is now winding back.