Traditional car manufacturers watch out! Chinese start-ups are coming


China’s car market is changing fast. Now the buzzwords of the Chinese auto market are “new energy” “connected” and “autonomous”, and BMW, Audi and GM could lose their primacy.

The great development of the new Chinese avant-garde automakers is also the fruit of the Chinese government’s commitment. Chinese government started handing out special manufacturing permits to non-traditional carmakers, offering consumer subsidies and issuing special ownership quotas. In addition, we must not forget that the future of cars is the IA, of which China is now a leader. The “fourth industrial revolution” promoted by China, will see the cars and the intelligence of the computers talking to each other.

The market that revolves around the future of cars is enormous. But what are the main companies?

The first is Byton, a company co-founded by two former BMW executives, that has built manufacturing facilities in Nanjing, and brands itself as a global carmaker. An example? Byton’s US$45,000 electric SUV features an edge-to-edge dashboard display, a tablet device on the steering wheel, facial recognition access, hand-gesture control and cloud-based data storage.

Another valuable company is Nio, founded by William Li, which boasts China’s answer to the Tesla X model. The company produces a car at half the price of Tesla that boasts such driver-assistance features as highway pilot, automatic emergency brakes and a smart in-car system with voice control.

Freeman Shen Hui and Napoleon Du Ligang founded instead WM Motor, another Tesla challenger in China. The Shanghai-based start-up can boast of having a full-electric SUV, will go into production in the first quarter and carry a starting price of 200,000 yuan before subsidies.

Finally, another interesting example is TuSimple, that aims to create the world’s first commercially viable autonomous truck driving platform. TuSimple can boast a solid partnership with NVIDIA. TuSimple has already begun the tests of the system in Arizona and in China, and plans to move to commercial operation of cargo trucks later this year.

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