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This Chinese EV start-up that aims to compete with Mercedes-Benz is headed by a Singaporean

This Chinese EV start-up that aims to compete with Mercedes-Benz is headed by a Singaporean
PHOTO: CarBuyer

Beijing, China - There are many EV brands proliferating in China, but here's one with a 'small' twist: It's headed by a Singaporean.

Beyonca is a two-year-old EV startup based in Beijing with big ambitions of challenging established German luxury brands Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, and its chairman is Mr Soh Wei Ming, a Singaporean automotive executive. Mr Soh is also currently the CEO of Renault China.

The startup has backing from Renault and Dongfeng, and aims to operate more quickly than traditional carmakers with a 'nimble corporate structure', Soh said in comments to Reuters.

It aims to begin full-scale production by 2024, expand to overseas production within five years, and to sell around 100,000 EVs per annum, post 2025. According to Reuters, Beyonca has a design facility in Munich and an AI development hub in Singapore.

The brand showed off its first concept car, the GT Opus 1 Concept, on Sunday, which touts medical support in the form of health monitoring, the ability to alert doctors, and linked autonomous driving. It's Beyonca's aim for its first car to be a luxury limousine to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Mr Soh is well known in the automotive trade, and was the highest-ranking Singaporean executive in his former, long serving role at the Volkswagen Group. In 2013, as reported in GasGoo automotive news, he was named EVP (Executive Vice President) of Volkswagen Group.

This role is in addition to being EVP of Volkswagen Group China and Member of the Board of Management, managing Group Business Development & Partnership Strategy, as well as Chairman of Volkswagen Group Import.

When CarBuyer last spoke to him circa 2018, he was heading Mobility Asia, a software and start-up style arm of the Volkswagen Group aimed at pioneering new car and mobility technologies.

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This article was first published in CarBuyer.

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