The Chinese conglomerate that runs LeTV has tapped a former Shanghai General Motors Co. president – Ding Lei – enlisting his assistance on their ongoing electric vehicle project.
LeTV is one of several Chinese technology companies that has recently decided to try and “disrupt” the auto industry in a manner close resembling to Tesla Motors and deliver smarter, Internet connected autos. LeTV has decided that experience is needed and thus enlisted auto industry veterans while forecasting in a bold manner they were ready to completely change the way of doing automotive business. Ahead of Ding’s arrival LeTV also hired Allen Lu, who was in charge of Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti unit in China, to supervise the electric vehicle project – according to the company he would now become a subordinate to Ding.
Ding has ample experience in dealing with the auto industry – 23 years as he worked for joint ventures between SAIC Corp. and its global automotive partners – including GM and VW AG, according to LeTV. He stayed in the auto industry until 2011 and then moved to join the Chinese government. The latter has been keen on shedding its dependence on the imported oil as well as mitigate the rising issue of pollution. One way of doing that has been to encourage – including financially – more companies to start green vehicle projects even if they had no previous experience in the automotive business. LeTV has previously announced it was going to bring a concept car of their electric vehicle project in front of the audience during 2016’s Beijing auto show.