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Its name stands for ‘Beyond the Car’.

Headquartered in Beijing with a design centre in Munich, Germany, and an artificial intelligence development hub in Singapore, BeyonCa has received a claimed RMB10 billion (£1.2bn) in investment from Changjiang Capital, a Wuhan-based subsidiary of Changjiang Securities, in a deal brokered by the Wuhan government.

Details of the financing have not yet been revealed, although the suggestions are that Renault and its Chinese joint-venture partner Dongfeng Motor are stakeholders.

In the public debut for the new Chinese car maker on 10 October, Su said BeyonCa was targeting the high-end premium segment with rivals such as the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Porsche Taycan.

“Our idea is to create something under a more nimble corporate structure. What we achieved in more than one year here would take seven or eight years at a conventional auto maker,” he said.

Others involved in the creation of BeyonCa and the development of the Optus 1 include Christian Klingler, former Volkswagen board member responsible for marketing, Hans-Joachim Rothenpieler, former research and development boss at Audi, and Dirk van Braeckel, former design boss at Skoda and Bentley.

The involvement of Klingler, who held a close association with former Volkswagen Group chairman Ferdinand Piech, has led to rumours within German automotive industry circles that the Piech family may be involved in the financing of BeyonCa.

Beyonca plans to begin production of the Optus 1 in China but is also eyeing production activities in other countries as part of a five-year start-up strategy. Su says the new company plans to release three to five new models over the next three to five years.

Dongfeng Motor will produce the Optus 1. The Wuhan-based car maker is said to have been active in the various elements of the development of the new saloon through its upmarket electric car brand, Voyah.   

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