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WM Motors to launch Weltmeister EV brand next year
Reuters | 2017/12/12

WM Motor Technology Co., one of a new breed of Chinese electric car companies, will introduce the "Weltmeister" brand and start taking orders for its first product, an SUV, in April.

The Shanghai-based startup will start launch production at a new plant in Wenzhou during the second quarter of next year, said company CEO Freeman Shen.

The exterior design for the SUV was presented at the event in Shanghai on Monday. WM Motor also unveiled a logo for the brand that will adorn its cars.

The brand name ¡°Weltmeister¡± is German for ¡°world champion¡± and reflects the rising challenge to traditional carmakers from startup companies.

WM Motor is one of several largely Chinese-funded EV startups betting on the benefits of local production to compete with companies such as Tesla Inc., which imports cars from the United States and pays a 25 percent tariff.

WM Motor will price its first car below 300,000 yuan ($45,300). The company plans to start deliveries in the second half of 2018.

Shen said he aims to sell 100,000 cars a year with three models available by 2020. The assembly plant in Wenzhou has an annual capacity of 100,000 vehicles.

Other Chinese EV startups include Future Mobility Corp Ltd with its Byton brand, Singulato Motors, and Nio.

Nio has said it plans to start delivering its first ¡°volume car,¡± an all-electric SUV called the Nio ES8, to buyers by next June.

Future Mobility has said it will deliver its first model, also an SUV, in the fourth quarter of next year. Singulato plans to start delivering its all-electric SUV, dubbed the Singulato iS6, to buyers before the end of 2018.

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