The Chinese tech giant LeEco has begun construction on its planned $3 billion electric car manufacturing facility in China, following a $1.44 billion investment from an unnamed source.
The $1.44 billion investment followed a $600 million investment, also from unnamed sources, that followed a leaked internal letter from founder Jia Yueting explaining the firm’s precarious financial situation (caused by too much expansion, according to Yueting).
Once completed, the new facility will reportedly be able to manufacture up to 400,000 vehicles a year by 2018. Issues remain, though, with regard to manufacturing licenses for the facility, so who knows if that production goal will be met?
Inhabitat provides more:
“According to Car News China, LeEco hasn’t yet obtained a government license to produce their LeSee cars at the factory. The outlet even said there’s a “real possibility” the government will refuse LeEco a license, as the CEO isn’t currently popular in Beijing. However, according to the South China Morning Post, a mayor of a city close to the factory said the local government will support the project.
“Should LeEco obtain permission, the factory is slated to produce the company’s first concept car, the LeSee. Zhang Hailiang, chief executive of LeEco’s car unit LeSupercar, said the factory will be automated completely, as robots do the bulk of the work. The electric vehicle would be equipped to operate autonomously. Fancy features include five in-car screens, smart seating, and the ability to recharge via magnetic charging stations.”
Considering LeEco’s massive involvement in the streaming media market in China, the interior screens are likely intended to be an integral part of the vehicles, providing an easy new means of pushing the company’s media business.