Silk-FAW to make electric sports cars in Italy

Earlier this week, Silk-FAW, a joint venture between Chinese automaker FAW and American automotive engineering and design company Silk EV, announced that it would move on with a proposal to produce electrified vehicles in Italy for more than one billion euros ($1.02 billion).

After participating in a videoconference with local officials, Silk-FAW announced in a statement that it will complete the purchase of the land in the city of Reggio Emilia where the production site will be erected on August 5.

Early September would see the holding of the groundbreaking ceremony for the site’s construction, which will also house the company’s headquarters and a research center.

The regional government of Emilia-Romagna in Italy requested assurances from Silk-FAW earlier this month because local officials were concerned that the proposal might not move forward.

FAW has expressed its complete support for the initiative, according to Silk-FAW board member Li Chongtian, who also serves as the head of FAW Capital Holding Co., the division in charge of FAW’s outside investments.

In the statement, he stated, “Silk and FAW are committed to the success of our cooperation.” He also claimed the organization was working to make sure the joint venture had the resources required to carry out its business plan.

Under the Hongqi brand, Silk-FAW intends to create and manufacture luxury electric and hybrid hypercars in China and Italy.

It chose Reggio Emilia last year, a location in Italy’s “Motor Valley,” where manufacturers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Ducati have their headquarters.

Production was scheduled to begin at the beginning of 2023, but the plan hasn’t moved forward, according to the firm, which cites issues with the mortgage required to purchase the plant’s site.

The regional government of Emilia-Romagna and the city of Reggio Emilia said in a separate statement that Monday’s videoconference was “essential” and “vital,” but they added that they were still awaiting the minutes of the meeting that were confirmed by executives from Silk-FAW.

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