12 Nov 19

AIWAYS first Chinese EV manufacturer to hit Europe

Shanghai based EV manufacturer says it will start selling its U5 SUV in Europe no later than Q2 2020. Its founder, Fu Qiang shared in an interview that the paperwork is done: local permits and certification are in. Sales of the same vehicle will start in China in December of this year.

First of many

Whilst many Chinese manufacturers have announced to expand to the US and the EU, AIWAYS is the first OEM to deliver on its promise, which is a historic feat in its own right. The brand will sell through pop-up stores, with a focus on Norway, the Netherlands and Germany. In addition, AIWAYS has been working on an attractive leasing proposal – most probably the fastest way to the hearts of company-car driving Europe.

Attractive proposal

The U5 will be proposed at a target pricing of about 25,000€, very much similar to its pricing in China. AIWAYS promises a range of 460 kilometers (although the journalists of Auto Gids managed to get only 300 kilometers out of the prototype), which can be extended to 560 km with the additional battery pack.

The attractiveness of the vehicle however comes from its price/size ratio: a mid-size SUV at the price of a small European EV. In addition, the brand likes to remind the consumer of its German roots; AIWAYS’ research and development center is based in Ingolstadt and is a joint venture with former Audi engineer Roland Gumpert.

Good timing

AIWAYS is entering the European market right in the middle of the EV hype. They anticipate that the European consumer has, today, a better perception of Chinese manufacturing compared to a few years ago. Recent successes by Chinese consumer goods and mobile phone producers should have built up some trust in the Chinese manufacturing capabilities, is what founder Fu hopes.

Authored by: Yves Helven