Competition in the Chinese automotive industry is not slowing down. Many new players that have emerged in recent years are trying to gain a place for themselves in the market. However, there are those who are not burdened by this competition. According to the news reported by Reuters, WM Motor, which was founded in 2015 and tried to attract attention with its technological products, filed for bankruptcy due to financial difficulties.
Founding and Support: The Story of WM Motor
WM Motor was founded in Shanghai in 2015 by Freeman Shen, who has spent years in the automobile industry. Shen gained experience by working in important companies for many years. However, despite Baidu's support and the $2016 billion investment it raised in 1, WM Motor could not survive in the grip of competition.
Challenges and Plagiarism Scandals: The Weltmeister Brand
WM Motor decided to produce electric cars under the “Weltmeister” brand. However, this decision brought with it some difficulties. The company was accused of stealing Mitsubishi's design, but it denied these accusations. While the word “Weltmeister” means “world champion” in German, it turned out that the company was struggling hard to achieve its goal of world championship.
Financial Challenges and Sales: Towards the End in 2021
As of 2021, WM Motor posted a massive annual loss of $1.13 billion, which has doubled in three years. However, during the same period, the company's sales more than doubled, reaching 44.152 units. WM Motor, which has a presence in the market with models such as EX5, EX6 Plus, W6, and E5, was preparing to launch its flagship sedan model, M7.
Investment and Bankruptcy: The Unexpected End
WM Motor filed for bankruptcy after attempts to sell shares on Shanghai's STAR Market and Hong Kong failed. Kaixin Auto Holdings, a used car dealer operating in the United States, announced that it has entered into a non-binding agreement to acquire the troubled company.
Intense competition in the Chinese automotive scene puts new startups through a tough test. The bankruptcy of WM Motor highlights the changing dynamics and challenges in the industry.