On October 30, Beyonca has launched a concept car with excellent features such as sensors that can monitor the driver’s blood pressure, alarms to alert doctors in an emergency and autonomous driving functions to help park the car.
Soh, chairman of Beyonca, said the company is targeting the high-end premium segment, where it will compete with models such as the Audi A8L, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes S Class.
“We have to face them,” Soh told Reuters, referring to Germany’s three premium brands. “With the medical equipment and all the stuff we’re going to deploy, we have a chance.”
Beyonca will start production in China but plans to build factories overseas within the next five years to serve markets including the Middle East, ASEAN countries and Europe. Soh also added that they aim to sell 100,000 EVs annually with three to five models available after 2025.
Soh said that by the time the car launches, third-generation EV technology will offer faster charging times and longer driving distances.
The launch comes at a time of signs of weakening demand emerging in the world’s largest auto market and competition in the country’s EV sector continues to intensify. Tesla recently slashed prices in China in a move that analysts say could start a price war.
Soh acknowledged the difficult background in their production but pointed to steady growth in the premium car segment, which he said has an annual sales potential of 3 million cars in China.
He declined to say how much Beyonca earned from investors or how much stake Renault and Dongfeng had in the company.
Renault confirmed it had invested, saying it would ramp up the group’s transformation from an automaker to a technology giant with cars at its center. Dongfeng did not respond to a request for comment from Reuters on the report.
“Our idea was to create something right under a more agile corporate structure … What we achieved in more than a year here would have taken us seven or eight years at a conventional automaker,” said Soh.
In addition to Soh, a longtime executive at Volkswagen who oversees its China operations, Beyonca’s founding team also includes former Volkswagen board member Christian Klingler, former head of Audi’s R&D department Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler and former Bentley senior designer Dirk van Braeckel.
Beyonca is headquartered in Beijing and has a design center in Munich and an artificial intelligence development center in Singapore.