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Evergrande’s EV unit secures investment from Tencent, Didi

Evergrande Group, a leading Chinese property developer, said its electric vehicle unit raised 4 billion Hong Kong dollars ($516 million) from a consortium of institutional investors including tech giant Tencent Holdings and ride-hailing provider Didi Chuxing. 

Two other investors are Silicon Valley-based private equity firm Sequoia Capital and Chinese private equity firm Yunfeng Fund, Evergrande Group said this week. 

It marks the first time the property developer has raised funds from external investors for its new EV unit. 

Evergrande Group ventured into the EV market in 2019 with a slew of acquisitions. 

Several European companies dominated the list of acquisitions: 
•    National Electric Vehicle Sweden, a Swedish company that bought assets of bankrupt Saab Automobile in 2012 to build EVs on the Saab 9-3 platform.
•    U.K. electric motor maker Protean Holdings Corp.
•    Dutch electric motor manufacturer e-Traction.
•    Shanghai-based EV battery maker CENAT New Energy Co.

Last year, Evergrande Group also signed up global engineering companies including FEV Group, EDAG Engineering Group, IAV Group, AVL Group and Magna International to develop EV products.

Evergrande Group hatched plans in August to launch mass production at the EV unit in the second half of 2021. EVs planned include sedans, crossovers, SUVs and multipurpose vehicles. 

The vehicles will be assembled at Evergrande plants in Shanghai and Guangzhou and marketed under the Hengchi brand. The two factories will each have annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles, according to Evergrande Group. 

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