NEW DELHI: Chinese automaker Haima Automobile might delay its entry in India due to business disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, people in the know informed ETAuto.
Haima New Energy (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Haima Automobile Group) entered into a technical collaboration on EV with Bird Electric – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delhi-based Bird Group. They showcased an electric hatchback in the price range of Rs 10 lakh upwards, which is likely to be named Bird Electric EV1.
This is the second attempt of Bird Group to enter the electric vehicle space. Earlier the company tied-up with Swedish start-up Uniti One which also failed to take off on mutiple reasons including the unviability of the parent company to mop up funds to keep the entity afloat and launch the vehicle commecially.
But with the rising number of coronavirus cases and growing anti-China sentiment in the country, Bird Electric, Director, Ankur Bhatia’s vision of providing affordable electric hatchback to India customers seems to be a bit of a distant dream.
Many Chinese companies and applications are already facing the heat of the negative sentiment due to recent tussle between the two countries over the Galwan Valley~
However, he is ambitious and feels that the company will commercially launch the product on the given timeline and make the product commercially viable.
Agreeing to the fact that due to the lockdown, engineers who were working on the design and upgradation of the prouct (the showcased car at the Auto Expo) are not able to travel and they are working jointly in China and India right now to make it viable.
Bird Electric has sourced a base hatchback model from Haima as the primary car for the Indian market.
Ankur Bhatia, Director, Brid Electric said, “The design was supposed to be finalised earlier, but due to the countrywide lockdown and stringent conditions on the movement of people the proposed plan could not work and people could not travel across countries. We would be clear about the next steps when the design is into the final situation and make some substantial progress for a viable prouct.”
He is confident that by the time we reach the next level, there will be far more clarity on the India-China relationship. However, witnessing the growing anti-China sentiments, the road ahead for Chinese carmakers and companies could be quite bumpy.
Many Chinese companies and applications are already facing the heat of the negative sentiment due to recent tussle between the two countries over the Galwan Valley. The government has banned most of the Chinese applications on Monday with the aim of curtailing their spread and the impact on the people. The government banned almost 60 different applications that were floating in the Indian market and were originated from China.
Similarly, another automaker Changan Automobile, the Chinese SUV maker, and electric vehicle specialist has also delayed its entry by almost a year.
The company has also put on hold its plan to form a partnership with India’s Group Landmark. It had signed a memorandum of understanding in 2019 with the Indian group that runs a dealership network for Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and FCA, but hardly any progress has been witnessed over the pact in the past.
Source Name – Economic Times – Auto