Richard Yu ‘to head electric car project’ but Huawei says no

Richard Yu ‘to head electric car project’, but Huawei says no

26 February 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Cover

Huawei is denying a Reuter’s report this morning that the Chinese vendor is planning to make electric vehicles under its own brand and that it could launch some models this year.

The Reuter’s report cites four sources for what it calls “a strategic shift” in Huawei, faced by the effect of US sanctions, to electric vehicles (EVs).

This morning’s report says that the head of the company’s consumer business group, Yu Chengdong — Richard Yu (pictured) — is in charge of the project.

Reuter’s said, citing three unnamed sources: “Huawei has started internally designing the EVs and approaching suppliers at home, with the aim of officially launching the project as early as this year.”

The agency adds that its sources say this project is separate from a joint smart vehicle company Huawei co-founded along with Changan and EV battery maker CATL in November 2020.

However, Huawei told the news agency: “Huawei is not a car manufacturer.” However, the company said that “we aim to be a digital car-oriented and new-added components provider”, that would enable car companies “to build better vehicles”.

The report says that Huawei is talking to state-owned Changan Automobile and other automakers to use their car plants to make its EVs, saying the information came from two “people familiar with the matter”.

The report added that one of Reuter’s two sources said BAIC Group’s BluePark New Energy Technology would make the EVs for Huawei, and “a separate person with direct knowledge of the matter” supported that information.

Reuter’s said: “The plan heralds a potentially major shift in direction for Huawei after nearly two-years of US sanctions that have cut its access to key supply chains, forcing it to sell a part of its smartphone business to keep the brand alive.”