Renault-backed EV startup to set up assembly in Hong Kong

  • BeyonCa, backed by Renault and Dongfeng, will establish its international headquarters and final assembly plant in Hong Kong.
  • The startup aims to develop Hong Kong’s first car brand, with its premium GT model, the Opus 1.

OUR TAKE
BeyonCa’s plan to set up in Hong Kong is ambitious, but it must overcome significant logistical and economic hurdles to succeed. The venture’s reliance on mainland China for most manufacturing processes may limit its impact on Hong Kong’s economy, challenging the promise of substantial local benefits.
Doris Du, BTW reporter

BeyonCa, an EV startup supported by Renault Group and Dongfeng Motor, announced plans to set up its international headquarters and a final assembly plant in Hong Kong, marking the territory’s first car brand. The company, founded by Weiming Soh, a former Volkswagen China executive and current head of Renault’s China operations, aims to create a breakthrough in Hong Kong’s auto manufacturing industry.

What happened

BeyonCa, short for “beyond cars,” will produce the GT Opus 1, a four-door premium GT. While the final assembly will occur in Hong Kong’s Tseung Kwan O, the majority of manufacturing processes, including stamping, body welding, and painting, will be done in mainland China. This initiative comes as Hong Kong seeks to diversify its economy following the economic downturn caused by the 2019 protests and the pandemic.

Also read: China’s Xiaomi joins the EV race with ‘dream car’ to take on Tesla

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Why it’s important

Renault’s investment in BeyonCa, though undisclosed, reflects the company’s strategy to better understand the Chinese technological ecosystem. This move aligns with Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo’s vision of maintaining a presence in the Chinese market through nontraditional means. Renault has recently announced collaborations with Chinese partners, including developing a new low-cost electric Twingo.

Personal opinion

While BeyonCa’s entry into Hong Kong’s market is promising, it raises questions about the territory’s readiness to support a complex auto manufacturing industry. Hong Kong has traditionally been a financial hub, not an industrial one. The city faces significant challenges, including high operational costs and limited space for large-scale manufacturing. Additionally, reliance on mainland China for key manufacturing processes might undermine the initiative’s potential to create substantial local employment and economic diversification.

Doris-Du

Doris Du

Doris Du is an intern reporter at BTW Media. She graduated with a master's degree in Translating and Interpreting from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Send tips to d.du@btw.media.

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