Property giant turns to NEV sector for growth



July 10 (NBD) -- The new-energy vehicle (NEV) manufacturing industry is about to see a new player. 

Beijing-based carmaker Hawtai Motor announced it has reached a strategic cooperation with real estate developer R&F Group. 

Compared with property giant Evergrande Group's high-profile investment into the car manufacturing industry, the Guangzhou-based real estate developer is pretty low-key when making inroads into the automotive area. 

"The two companies will collaborate in the fields of electrification, connected intelligence, and autonomous driving, and will apply lightweight materials, new technologies, and new manufacturing technique to the process of vehicle manufacturing," a person-in-charge with the Beijing-based automaker said to National Business Daily (NBD). "But details were still under discussion." 

Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, told NBD, "R&F Group aims to get ahold of Hawtai's NEV production qualification through the deal." According to public information, Hawtai Motor has a strong product lineup of traditional and new-energy passenger cars and commercial vehicles as well as a complete portfolio of auto finance services. 

In the eyes of industry insiders, the strategic tie-up is conducive to the future growth of the two companies. 

NBD noticed that R&F Properties, a listed subsidiary of R&F Group, reported an overall debt ratio of 82.05 percent in the first quarter of this year ended March 31. 

"The real estate market is now in a downturn, pressuring property companies to turn to the NEV market to maintain the high profitability," Cui pointed out. 

For Hawtai Motor's part, introducing R&F Group as a shareholder is helpful to revive its vehicle manufacturing business, but the continually narrowing distribution network remains a challenge. 

A person in charge of the automaker's dealer business previously revealed that a number of the company's sales outlets had been shut down and many dealers have refused to replenish stock due to lackluster sales. Moreover, the sale of some models had been halted, the person added.  



Editor: Lan Suying