Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup Byton has reportedly filed for bankruptcy in China, marking a significant setback for the company and its ambitions to produce its first vehicle, the M-Byte SUV.
Byton faced financial troubles starting in 2019 when a round of funding led by Chinese auto group FAW fell through. Subsequent changes in management and the withdrawal of investments from backers like Foxconn and the investment arm of the Nanjing government further worsened the company’s financial situation.
Byton’s main business unit, Nanjing Zhixing New Energy Vehicle Technology Development, was compelled to initiate bankruptcy proceedings in 2021 after being taken to court by a creditor. Despite initially commencing pre-production of the M-Byte in late 2019 and receiving over 50,000 reservations, manufacturing was halted due to financial difficulties and pandemic-related supply shortages. Byton had planned to establish itself as a global brand, with deliveries intended for China, Europe, and North America.
The M-Byte boasted an impressive 48-inch display and various battery options, promising ranges of up to 323 miles. However, with the recent bankruptcy filing, Byton’s future is uncertain, and the production status of the M-Byte remains in doubt.