Byton, a startup from China, which has been in serious financial trouble for the past year, has filed for bankruptcy. According to Autohome.com, the case, which also involves the restructuring of the company, is being considered in the Nanjing District Court. Byton never released a single car: its firstborn was the M-Byte curved 48-inch electric crossover, which was already ready for production.
Startup Byton, or Nanjing Zhixing New Energy Vehicle Technology Development Co., Ltd., was founded in 2017 by entrepreneur Daniel Kirchert, who previously worked at BMW. Two years later, the company, whose profile was electric cars, presented its first car, M-Byte, at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and in serial status.
The electric car received a coupe-like body with a low roof and a “blade” insert that emphasizes the edge of the hood and separates the headlights. The main feature of the cabin was a giant curved screen measuring 48 inches, which could be controlled using additional mini-displays, voice and gestures.
The initial version was promised to be equipped with a 272-horsepower electric motor on the rear axle and a 72 kilowatt-hour battery, providing up to 360 kilometers of travel on a single charge. A more powerful version with a 408-horsepower engine and a 95-kilowatt-hour battery was also envisaged. The declared cruising range of this M-Byte was 435 kilometers.
However, the perspective model never saw the light of day. A year ago, the startup started having supply problems due to the pandemic, which led to massive layoffs and the bankruptcy of its German subsidiary Byton GmbH.
At the beginning of this year, one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, Taiwan’s Foxconn, promised to support Byton, which intended to invest $ 200 million in the brand. However, according to Bloomberg, the Chinese automaker FAW, which owns 20 percent of Byton, intervened and put one of its top managers at the head of the startup. FAW’s plans, as well as the further fate of Byton, have not yet been disclosed.