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Chinese home appliance producer Midea said to tap NEV field
Monika From Gasgoo| April 02 , 2020

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Chinese home appliance giant Midea Group will spend RMB740 million to control 23.73% of voting shares in Beijing-based variable frequency drive supplier Hiconics Eco-energy Technology (Hiconics), in order to accelerate its push into industrial automation, the company announced on March 26.

Midea NEV building, home appliance car building, China automotive news

(Photo source: Midea's WeChat account)

The statement also triggers discussions from automobile industry as the acquiree is also engaged in the supply of components for new energy vehicles (NEVs).

“Hiconics can provide new energy automotive powertrain, motor controller, the auxiliary power system, the electric car intelligent charging pile platform construction and new energy automobile lease, and other products and services,” the company makes such self-introduction on its official website.

The latest acquisition was regarded as a signal that Midea attempts to tap NEV area. The speculation was made stemming from part of Midea’s statement. “Hiconics’ deployment in energy conservation, environmental protection and NEV will help the group diversify its businesses, and lay a positive and effective foundation for Midea to explore new operations and new business models.”

The Guangdong-based home appliance producer is not a stranger in car-building field. It acquired stakes of three automakers located in Hunan and Yunnan provinces between 2004 and 2006, and found its own automobile manufacturing company dubbed Midea Sanxiang Bus. However, the latter bowed out of production in 2008 due to the unsound operation and dismal sales, and was then taken over by BYD.

It is hardly surprising that a home appliance developer aspires to gain a foothold in automobile domain. Such companies as AUX Group, Gree and Dyson had all made trial efforts, but failed eventually.

Midea NEV building, home appliance car building, China automotive news

(Photo source: Skywell)

But the television brand SKYWORTH should be counted as one of few successful doers. Its founder Huang Hongsheng set up automobile company Skywell in 2010, and then acquired and merged the bus manufacturer Nanjing Golden Dragon, shifting its business focus from traditional fuel-powered buses to NEVs.

In the field of PVs, Skywell obtained in 2017 the car-building qualification from China's MIIT. In addition, its wholly-owned subsidiary in Jiangsu launched at the end of 2019 a new NEV brand—dubbed “Skywell” as well, which focuses on producing all-electric PVs.

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