Aiways said it had sold 2,500 U5 battery electric SUVs in Europe in its first year.

Since May 2020, the company has exported to Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Further EFTA and southern Europe markets  will be added by the end of 2021.

Alex Klose, EVO of overseas operations, said: “We’ve gone quietly about building our presence in Europe, and after a year of exporting the U5, we’re happy with our progress so far. There’s still a lot more work to do – we’re frequently asked by citizens of other European countries as to when they can buy.”

Aiways is also celebrating four years since starting construction of its fully-owned, factory in Shangrao, Jiangxi Province, China. Finished within just 14 months, U5 production started at the plant in February, 2019.

Situated in the catchment area of three prosperous economic zones, the Yangtze River Delta, Haixi and Wanjiang, the Shangrao industrial park is set to become China’s major automotive hub, with five other OEMs arriving over the next few years. This will help to streamline the local automotive supply chain and attract talent.

Aiways is collaborating with Siemens on a ‘two factories – one facility’ concept. This uses a highly detailed cloud-based virtual model of the plant that communicates online with the physical facility. This allows the automaker to monitor every step of the production process with a self-learning system able to detect, report and correct even the smallest irregularities, without interrupting the overall production process.

The 633,328 square metre plant consists of a stamping plant, body shop, paint shop, unique battery packing station and assembly shop, and can build up to 150,000 units per year currently, and will be able to produce 300,000 units in the near future.