SHANGHAI -- Electric-vehicle maker
Future Mobility Corp., co-founded by former BMW and
Nissan Motor executives, has named its brand "Byton"
that it plans to launch in the United States and Europe soon
after starting sales at home in 2019.
Future Mobility, which recently raised $200 million from
investors including China's Suning and Fullshare Holdings, is looking to launch three vehicles by 2022. It already
has a premium midsize crossover ready to
go into the next "serious" phase of development. The company has
said sales of the crossover will be launched in China during the fourth quarter of 2019.
"The car is really developed for China, the U.S. and Europe.
From the beginning we planned to launch it globally, setting up
our sales subsidiaries in the U.S., China and Europe," Daniel
Kirchert, Future Mobility's president, told Reuters at a media
event in Shanghai on Thursday.
"After (January next year) we will start to engage with
customers, take orders, and build up our sales organizations."
Future Mobility is looking to unveil the production-ready
version of the first car at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las
Vegas in January next year.
Two key features of the car's interior are a touch pad the
size of Apple's smaller iPad integrated into the steering wheel,
and a massive, 20 cm-tall, 1.25-meter dashboard screen that
stretches along the width of the car, the company said.
"Make everything which is possible on your smart phone also
possible in the car," Kirchert said. The company's goal is to make it easier and
fun to drive or be driven with the features,
which users can control by touch, gesture and voice.
The company plans to launch two more vehicles -- a sedan and a
7-seat multi-purpose vehicle -- by 2022.
Future Mobility plans to create a hybrid of the
traditional car industry distribution method with a more
experimental direct-sale approach using the company's dedicated
sales website, Kirchert and CEO Carsten Breitfeld said.
To cater to customers who want to see the car in person, the
company also plans to set up physical showrooms operated by
third-party independent sales agents who would work like
traditional dealers but work only on a commission basis.
"Sales contact will always be between the customer and us
directly," Kirchert said.
Future Mobility also plans to provide maintenance and repair
services through a network of independent agents, although the
service process will be managed centrally by the company.