Chinese car companies are in the early stages of a huge push into new markets.
Last night in California, as Tesla was making a big announcement, Chinese tech company LeEco tried to unveil its own Tesla-fighter in the American automaker’s own backyard.
LeEco planned a big American reveal event to debut a prototype of the LeSee, a self-driving electric car, but according to Automotive News, the car wasn’t even able to drive down the runway. The good news is that it wasn’t a technical issue — there was apparently a delay in getting the car from London, where it’s taking part in filming the next Transformers movie. Jalopnik reports that the original car that was supposed to debut was in an accident, and flying in a car from London was a backup plan.
The Chinese tech giant is backing American EV maker Faraday Future, so this prototype could preview what Faraday will be unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show in early 2017. The LeEco sedan prototype was officially unveiled at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, and so far, not much is known about the LeSee, except that it will focus on connectivity.
Not too long ago, cars from China were laughably bad — blatant knock-offs of other cars or cheap vehicles that would never pass real safety tests. This new push to legitimize signals a big change that is coming to the automotive industry, as Chinese automakers could become a serious disruptor in the market.
[Source: Automotive News]