Chinese new energy vehicle manufacturer Aiways has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Phoenix Electric Vehicle Co., Ltd., an automotive firm headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. The deal covers a procurement plan for a total of 150,000 NEVs from Aiways, according to a report by Cailian Press on November 28.
Aiways announced this month that it has 155 sales networks in 20 overseas countries, accelerating the brand’s globalization strategy. The Aiways U5 has been successfully exported to Germany, France, Belgium and other countries. At the same time, the firm has opened nearly 200 stores in 120 cities across China.
However, the development of Aiways has not been smooth. The firm recently carried out high-level personnel adjustments, as William Chen resigned as chairman but continued to serve as a director. In addition, former CEO Charlie Zhang took over as chairman, while Matthew Qiu was appointed CEO to assist Zhang, who is in charge of daily operations and management. This is the third time that the firm has changed its management personnel this year.
According to public data, since the start of the company’s vehicle deliveries in June 2020, 2,600 vehicles and 3,011 vehicles were delivered in China in 2020 and 2021 respectively. From January to August, 2022, the cumulative domestic sales volume was only 2,824 vehicles. Since its first mass-production car, the Aiways U5, was launched, total sales in China and abroad were less than 15,000 vehicles.
The sluggish sales volume has also affected the financial conditions of Aiways to a certain extent. Relevant data show that in 2018, its operating income was 33.19 million yuan ($4.61 million) and its net profit loss was 970 million yuan. In the first quarter of 2019, the operating income was 370,000 yuan and its net profit loss was 254 million yuan. As of March 31, 2019, the total liabilities of the firm were 2.407 billion yuan, and the asset-liability ratio reached 97.5%.
It is worth mentioning that, in order to obtain financial support, the firm was also reportedly planning to initiate an IPO in the United States this year.
On September 16, China Liberal Education, a training and education enterprise, announced that it had reached a non-binding cooperation intention with Aiways Holdings Limited, an operating company under Aiways, to acquire all the latter’s issued shares. According to the terms of the letter of intent, the total valuation of Aiways ranges from $5 billion to $6 billion. After the acquisition, all the shares of Aiways will be converted into common shares of listed companies. Regarding the matter, Aiways said that it would not comment on topics related to its public listing.