China’s NextEV Going After Tesla With Internet Entrepreneurs’ Backing

The traditional model of car companies is being challenged by newcomers like Tesla with no previous experience in the automotive business, thanks to the rapid advances in technology.

Seeing how Elon Musk, after last year’s reshuffling, got his company off the ground with great success and has made the all-electric Model S saloon and the Model X SUV, which is due in fall, a hit with customers, many are looking to follow suit.

According to a a Reuters report, one of them is the Chinese company NextEV, which is already participating in Formula E. Its first production model “will be an electric supercar that is expected to outperform all combustion engine rivals in the world”, said company spokeswoman Jili Liu.

She added that it will be launched next year, have in excess of 1,000 HP and will be joined later on by a range of performance EV family cars.

As the Fisker fiasco has proved, funding is of the essence in order for those plans to come to fruition. NextEV already has the backing of China-based internet entrepreneurs and investos like Hillhouse Capital and Tencent.

Former Ford Europe COO and Maserati CEO Martin Leach has been appointed co-president and leads the recruiting program. So far Italdesign’s concept vehicle chief Danilo Teobaldi, BMW senior designer Juho Suh and Tesla senior program director John Thomas are among those who have joined NextEV’s ranks.

Tesla sure took notice “We’re happy to see other people use the Model S sedan and our business model as benchmarks, whether they are large companies or well-funded startups”, spokesman Ricardo Reyes commented.

The “large companies” part was likely pointed to Mercedes-Benz, which revealed that it is already working on a Model S rival.

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