Although there is still an Aichi U5 exhibition car in the showroom at the door, the Aichi headquarters building is empty and the entrance to each floor is locked, China Business reported. Aichi insiders confirmed the news, and the headquarters staff are currently working from home.
Aichi Automobile is headquartered in Shanghai Changyang Valley Creative Industrial Park, and the automobile production base is located in Shangrao City, Jiangxi Province. It is understood that as early as May 3, Shanghai Changyang Chuanggu Enterprise Development Co., Ltd. issued a notice that since April 1, 2023, the rent of Aichi car has not been paid on schedule, and the total amount of unpaid rent is 1.1509 million yuan. the account period is from April 1, 2023 to April 30, 2023, and from April 16 to June 15, room D502, the park property has taken power outage measures for Aichi cars.
Apart from the arrears of rent and power outages in the headquarters office, Aichi has owed wages for two months in a row. To this end, Aichi issued a notice internally that in order to meet the rigid demand of employees, the channel of self-paid social security provident fund has been opened since May, and employees applying for it are required to advance all fees, including individuals and companies. Employees who advance the social security provident fund at their own expense need to change their labor contracts to Shanghai Yiwei Home Company from May 1, 2023 and transfer the money to the relevant account before May 25, 2023, and then return it later when the company is normal, the notice said.
Arrears of wages, the relevant labor departments have been involved in this matter. On May 17, Aichi employees received a text message from the labor security supervision brigade of Yangpu District, Shanghai. The text message shows that the law enforcement brigade of Yangpu District people's and Social Affairs Bureau is investigating and dealing with Aichi Automobile (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., Shanghai Aichi Yiwei Automobile sales Co., Ltd., and Shanghai Yiwei Automobile sales Co., Ltd. the situation of arrears of wages in April 2023, and will be in accordance with legal procedures to deal with wage arrears in a unified manner.
As a member of the new power, the fundamentals of Aichi were not bad at the beginning of its founding. Founder Fu Qiang once served as head of Skoda Department of Shanghai Volkswagen, Executive Vice President of sales and Marketing of Beijing Mercedes-Benz, President and CEO of Volvo China sales Company, etc., and founded Aichi in 2017 after leaving Volvo, and invited Gu Feng, then Chief Financial Officer of SAIC, to join. In addition, known as the "father of Odiquattro" and the founder of Apollo supercar, Roland Gumpert served as general manager of Aichi CPO and German subsidiary Aichi Combo Automobile Co., Ltd., and Wang Dongchen, once the highest-level Chinese engineer of German Volkswagen's R & D system in China, was the general manager of Aichi CTO and technology center. Such a team and market layout view were favored by domestic investors at that time. Aichi is also seen as one of the most promising new power companies.
In July 2019, Aichi Motor acquired a 50% stake in Jiangling Holdings with 1.747 billion yuan to become the largest shareholder, formally solving the problem of car manufacturing qualification. In December 2019, Aichi U5, the first volume production car, was officially put on the market. The new car was positioned as a pure electric medium-sized SUV with a price of 19.79-292100 yuan. In terms of power, Aichi U5 is equipped with a permanent magnet synchronous motor with a maximum power of 190hp, a maximum torque of 315N ·m, and a mileage of 503km under NEDC conditions.
However, unlike other new forces, Aichi is not well-known in the domestic market and has been making efforts in overseas markets since mass production. In May 2020, the first batch of 500 Aichi U5s were exported to the European Union, and then successively exported to France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and other 15 European countries, becoming the first new energy vehicle start-up company in China to sell in Europe.
However, the end result is "two mistakes at home and abroad". According to statistics on the official website of Aichi Automobile, since its official export in May 2020, Aichi has sold a total of 6464 units overseas by November 2022, with a cumulative overseas sales of less than 10,000 vehicles since it has been on the market for more than two years. The same is true in the domestic market, with domestic sales of 2143 units, 2635 units and 753 units respectively from 2020 to 2022 and only 111units from January to April 2023.
Problems such as poor sales and financial difficulties made its presence weaker and weaker in public view, until January 2022, when Aichi welcomed a new round of financing from Chen Xuanlin and its Dongbai Group, raising hundreds of millions of dollars. With the financing in place, the management of Aichi Automobile has undergone a "big change". Founder Fu Qiang will no longer serve as legal representative and chairman, and Chen Xuanlin will take over. Under the leadership of Chen Xuanlin, Aichi began to try to solve the problem of financial shortage through backdoor listing. However, Chen Xuanlin announced his "abdication" after less than half a year as chairman, and was replaced by Zhang Yang, a former member of Aichi's board of directors.
Chen Xuanlin's own situation may spread to the development of the company, which not only makes Aichi fall into business difficulties again. In November 2022, the online announcement showed that "due to Chen Xuanlin's personal reasons, there was uncertainty in the operation and management of the financing side, and the principal and interest of some products were not paid on time." In early 2023, many distribution stores under Zhejiang Zhongtong holding Group, the largest automobile distribution group in Taizhou, Zhejiang, were closed, the wages of employees could not be settled, and users could not be solved after sale, while Chen Xuanlin was the actual control of Zhongtong holding Group.
In fact, in order to solve the funding problem, Aichi is also considering going to the United States to raise funds for listing. On September 16, 2022, Huaxia Burson, an education and training company, announced that it had reached a non-binding cooperation intention with Aiways Holdings Limited, a car operator, to acquire all the outstanding shares of Aichi. According to the terms of the letter of intent, the total valuation of Aichi ranges from US $5 billion to US $6 billion. Upon completion of the acquisition, all shares of Aichi will be converted into common shares of the listed company. However, due to the thunder of the investment agency where Aichi Chairman Chen Xuanlin works, the situation of overdue non-payment and the reverse backdoor listing plan have not come to an end. So far, there has been no following.
Nowadays, the living condition of Aichi car is worrying. Under the background of depressed sales, employees owe wages, headquarters withdraw rent, and APP stops service. It was once regarded as one of the new forces most likely to succeed. I wonder how long Aichi will last?
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