Byton is a Chinese-backed startup currently showing a prototype electric car dubbed SIV. It looks like this:
The SIV turned up at CES (you once knew it as the Consumer Electronics Show) this week and positioned itself as an alternative to the few-and-far-between Tesla Model 3, which, as some wise guy is sure to point out, is Tesla’s fourth product.
The debut, complete with buzzwords:
A four-foot wide touchscreen? Take that, Elon Musk!
[T]he industrial plan is for Byton to double its staff by the end of 2018, with workers streaming into its Nanjing factory as production ramps up. But production has yet to begin; the exiting prototypes were all hand-built and the Chinese plant isn’t even fully licensed by Chinese authorities yet. That’s not to say that it won’t be soon, but Byton has plenty to do before it truly hits the ground running — and fundraising will be a big part of that.
This leaves us wondering if we’ll have a legitimate automaker in the next few years or yet another example of how difficult it is to actually become one.
And there are buyers in this country who refuse even to consider a car assembled in China, let alone designed there.