Innovations – aiways: china manufacturer wants to stir up the european car market

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Aiways: China manufacturer wants to stir up the European car market

Even before the market launch of their first SUV, the Chinese are already presenting their next concept, the U6ion

The Chinese brand AIWAYS presents the U6ion concept. The crossover is a preview of the Chinese’s next vehicle and will be based on the same modular platform as the U5, which is due to debut on the European market this summer. Details on the technology or the market launch are not yet known.

One cannot accuse Aiways of a lack of ambition. Last year, Chinese companies made headlines when it drove 15,022km from China to Germany with two prototypes of its all-electric U5 SUV. The PR campaign earned the company an entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest drive in a purely electric car.

But the trip was also a symbolic act. From China straight to the heart of the European automotive industry: Aiways has big plans. The company wants to be the first Chinese carmaker specializing exclusively in purely electric cars to sell its models in Europe.

In order to be successful on the European market, the company has developed a modular platform that enables it to implement both different body shapes and different drive types. “This allows us to launch a new car every year,” explains Alexander Klose, Aiways vice president of overseas affairs.

And the e-car manufacturer is now starting to do this: Even before the market launch of the U5, which was delayed by the corona virus, the company is presenting the U6ion, a concept of a sporty crossover. With the model, the company wants to appeal to younger customers in particular. More details about the market launch or the drive are not yet known, but the range should be similar to that of the U5: The SUV is equipped with a 64kWh battery and is expected to cover more than 400 kilometers in the WLTP cycle.

New ways

Unlike traditional car manufacturers, Aiways does not have its own dealer network. Instead, the Chinese are cooperating with the German electronics retailer “Euronics” and the workshop chain “ATU.” (Auto Teile Unger). “Euronics” is to exhibit the cars and advise interested customers if necessary, A.T.U. is responsible for maintenance. According to Aiways, the first planned service should only be due after 100,000 km. The cars can be configured and ordered online, similar to Tesla.

This concept is now also catching on among European manufacturers: Citroën is also working with an electronics retailer (“fnac”) in France to exhibit its new Ami electric microcar, which can be ordered online.

The aim is to score points with younger customers in particular.
One thing is certain: the Chinese newcomer has what it takes to change the European market. Because when it comes to electromobility, Aiways is already a lot further than some established manufacturers.

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