Byton suspended operations for six months due to financial problems
Chinese EV startup Byton has been shut down for at least six months due to financial problems exacerbated by the COVID-19 epidemic, the company said. The origin:, following reports Detroit Bureau : Local media. This comes after workers in China complained that they were Collectively, they owe millions of dollars while the company was struggling to complete the $ 500 million funding phase.
In April, Byton enriched hundreds of workers at his headquarters in the Silicon Valley in North America, but admitted that his first car, the entire electric SUV with a massive panel display called the M-Byte, was again delayed due to the impact. the epidemic. This is despite the fact that Byton is backed by China’s oldest state-owned automaker, First Auto Works (FAW), and last year completed a new plant in Nanjing, China.
“Like everywhere else, COVID-19 [pandemic] has posed great challenges for BYTON funding and business operations, ”said Beaton spokesman Dave Buchko. The origin:. As a result, he said, the company’s management and board of directors decided to take a six-month break. Most of the company’s employees will improve in China, and “only a small group of teams will be maintained to meet the potential needs of the business.”
It was Beaton was founded in 2016 With the support of Chinese Internet giant Tencent and Taiwanese manufacturing conglomerate Foxconn, former BMW executives Carsten Breitfeld (who ran the i8 program) and Daniel Kirchkert. Byton announced the concept version of the M-Byte at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, and soon found out that FAW is investing and partnering with the launch.
The FAW deal was initially seen as a vote of confidence in what Breitfeld and Kirchert were building, especially since many other EV startups were fighting for funding at the time and were desperate for a partnership with the big OEMs. But that eventually became a source of tension for Breitfeld, which launched its debut in early 2019. In September of last year, as J. The origin: The first reported that Breitfeld stated that the Chinese government, through FAW, “pushes the direction of Byton [to a place that was] not what we thought we should do. ”
Breitfeld said at the time that Byton had used the Nanjing plant and other assets as collateral to invest in FAW for the money it felt the state-owned automaker was “going to drive to the stage where will close the whole Byton thing. , they will just keep the plant and the weather [electric vehicle] platform. ”
In fact, Breitfeld’s exit is now part of a new legal battle between its co-founder. In August 2019, Beaton introduced a previously unpublished lawsuit vs. Brightfeld, accusing him of stealing and using novice trade secrets in Iconiq, the launch of a separate Chinese EV, which he worked with after splitting with Beaton (and before he became CEO of Faraday Future). Byton insists on Breitfeld announced its new position with Iconiq In April 2019 at the Shanghai Motor Show, although he did not resign from Byton until next month.
The source also claims that Breitfeld misused the employees for his way out, that they “used and relied on Beaton’s secret and confidential information to allow Icon to compete directly with Beaton” and that “many of Lconic’s images and descriptions were transported They are very similar to Biton vehicles. ”
Brightfeld has been challenged by many in lawsuits, claiming that the board of directors of Beaton fired him as CEO in January 2019, before finally terminating him in April of that year. Breitfeld also claims that Beaton has filed a lawsuit just to prevent the actions he could have taken to receive millions of dollars in compensation, which he believes has a contractual obligation. This includes his net annual salary balance from 2019, plus “deferred compensation benefits, pension insurance, German pension, annual leave, travel expenses”, plus “the cost of tax advice, housing, cars, driver, school fees.” children, [and] a guaranteed salary for his wife, ”all provided by Beaton. Breitfeld also believes that Beaton should “acquire all the shares in the company.”
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