China has became number one auto market in the world and shows impressive growth. Chinese companies are on a shopping spree in the resource world. Asia has its own ambitions to play Next Industrial revolution, starting from commodity side:
"1. Market place for Lithium and REE products: Huge potential - auto market is growing...China has become largest market in the world. Electric cars could be the only way to bring mobility to hundred of millions without destroying environment in China and India."
"Billions are coming into our Next Big Thing: Green Mobility revolution - new factories for lithium batteries are under contraction and new Electric Cars models are rolled out. In Lithium Supply chain, which will benefit from newly born Bull, place is not very crowded, but success will depend on people involved, their energy and ability to develop the projects."
By Reenita Malhotra Hora
The Associated Press Albert Lam, the chief executive of Detroit Electric, spoke to Green Inc. about recent moves by his company.
Last week, the Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Corporation and Detroit Electric Holdings — keeper of the Detroit Electric brand, a decades-old, long-defunct electric vehicle label that was recently ressurected as a Netherlands-based, largely Asian-financed maker of electric drive train technology — announced plans to jointly research, develop, market and sell fully electric vehicles in China.
The partnership follows on the heels of Detroit Electric’s $331 million assembly agreement with Proton Holdings, a Malaysia-based automotive manufacturing company, signed at the end of March. It will allow Detroit Electric to expand its international sales, and the company says it aims to sell 45,000 vehicles across Europe, the United States and Asia by next year. It says it will increase that to 270,000 by 2012.
Green Inc. spoke with Detroit Electric’s chief executive, Albert Lam, about this new partnership and his plans for expanding Detroit Electric’s reach in Asia.
Excerpts from that conversation follow.
Can you tell us a bit about your Asian partners?
Our manufacturing partner is Proton Holdings of Malaysia, a well respected automotive company, that is positioned for long-term growth. Proton provides us with vehicle platforms. We modify the exterior design slightly, add our patented electric drive train, and homologate the vehicle to meet the local safety requirements.
Our business model seeks to leverage existing Asian vehicle designs, allowing us to focus instead on our technology. This model gives us the opportunity to get to market without investing heavily in local manufacturing facilities. Our business strategy is unique among our competitors. We plan to add additional contract manufacturing partners to expand our product segments.
What Asian markets are a priority for Detroit Electric?
China and Japan are key markets for us. Hong Kong specifically, with its size, dense population and air pollution issues, [is] ideal city for electric driving. Not only will this significantly improve the quality of life here, but also enhance a cleaner and greener environment. We believe that strong local government support, ideal partners like Dongfeng, and growing consumer demand will allow Detroit Electric to be successful in Hong Kong first, and in the broader Chinese market, thereafter.
We also plan to take our sports car product to Japan. There, we can develop a strong niche market which will enable us to showcase our technology and the excellent potential for electric driving.
Aside from the size of the Chinese market, what motivated the partnership with Dongfeng?
Dongfeng is a world-class automaker with the market share and technical expertise needed to quickly bring [pure electric vehicles] to market in China. Our agreement with Dongfeng is a proof point for the technical leadership and commercial readiness of Detroit Electric’s electric motor drive technology. … Also, the fact that it is state owned means that it has the leadership to define future policy for China’s automotive industry. Working with a strong partner like this provides a direct line of communication to Chinese policy makers who will define the strategic direction for the new electric car industry.
Is this venture funded in any way by China’s stimulus $600 billion stimulus package.
As we are still in discussions regarding the structure of the partnership, it is too early to identify the funding sources."