German subsidiary of e-car maker Byton has filed for insolvency
This means that in addition to the American offshoot, the German one is also out of the game. It remains to be seen whether the Chinese e-car will still come.
Byton GmbH has filed for insolvency in Munich. Insolvency proceedings were opened at the local court on Tuesday. Munich lawyer Michael Bauer is appointed as insolvency administrator.
Byton was co-founded by former German and French BMW managers. The goal was to rival Tesla with an electric SUV with a range of more than 500 kilometers for about 40,000 euros. The Chinese company had subsidiaries in Germany and the US. All German and U.S. employees have already been laid off, including about 70 people who worked at the plant in Ismaning, near Munich.
The Corona pandemic and accompanying cancelled orders are officially to blame for the shutdown. "We never found out the real reasons, but the fact is that firmly promised tranches of money from business partners were not transferred," says a high-ranking ex-employee of Wirtschaftswoche. In total, the amount involved was several hundred million dollars. "As a result, we could no longer pay our suppliers, there were delivery stops and terminations," said the ex-manager.
Already at the beginning of February, the end of Byton hinted. At that time, the company closed the Munich plant because it could no longer pay the rent. FInancial problems had the start-up apparently since mid-2020. The then CEO Daniel Kirchert is said to have fled to Hong Kong. In the meantime, he has been placed with the Chinese Evergrande Group as "Executive Vice President" of the Evergrande Auto brand, reports Elektroauto News. This means the German executive is once again looking after e-cars.
Foxconn, an Apple contract manufacturer based in Taiwan, joined Byton in January with $200 million. A plant in Nanjing is apparently ready, but production is not yet underway. Whether a Byton car will ever roll off the assembly line is an open question.
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