US-based electric automaker Tesla Motors has swiftly graduated from being a new energy startup to a fully fledged automaker that has its shares traded publicly and expands on a global level.
While it still has just one model in its dealerships, the carmaker has a successful business model so far, which allowed it to be intensely courted by investors and also plan huge investments – such as the world’s largest battery production facility. Its business model is also one to be noted in a specific automotive segment – electric cars. And their influence has spread all the way to China – which has numerous billionaires willing to invest in the automotive field, since the country is the planet’s biggest auto market. For example, Hong Kong businessman Stephen Wong has also graduated from being imprisoned for theft and fraud to a very honorable investor into China’s emerging electric commercial vehicle sector. He made his fortune founding Chinese TV maker Skyworth Digital and, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, can make use of a fortune worth $1.2 billion – mostly thanks to his 36 percent ownership of Skyworth.
More importantly, the rest is currently derived from an electric producer that is being carved out of the Tesla Motors business model. The Chinese magnate is en route to develop a new venture that seeks to tap China’s rising need of new energy vehicles (their term for plug-in hybrids, fuel cell and battery electrics) as the country fights pollution. “For entrepreneurs, their experience, determination and ideas are more important than products.” comments Zhong Shi, a Beijing-based independent auto analyst that also sits on the committee of state-backed China Automobile Dealers Association. He now closely directs (with 80 percent ownership) electric producer Nanjing Golden Dragon Bus, aiming to turn the startup venture into the country’s largest builder of commercial vehicles powered by electricity.