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BMW executives jump ship to join EV startup Future Mobility

BMW China, Benoit Jacob, electric vehicles

The people behind some of the most acclaimed electric vehicles on the roads have defected to China.

市面上最受欢迎的几款电动汽车背后的重量级人物,最近已经转投了中国公司的怀抱。

The news agency reported that Benoit Jacob, the designer of the i8 sports car, has jumped ship to join Future Mobility, an EV startup backed by Tencent Holdings, noted mainly for its social media and online gaming operations, and microelectronics group Foxconn Technology, which makes the iPhone for Apple Inc.. Neither company has any pedigree in making cars, although a third shareholder, China Harmony New Energy Auto Holding Ltd., is an established dealer in luxury cars across the country.

宝马i8电动汽车的设计师伯努特•雅各布最近跳槽到了和谐富腾,这家电动汽车创业公司背后的几位大股东分别是以社交媒体和在线游戏业务著称的腾讯控股,以及为苹果代工iPhone手机而闻名于世的微电子集团富士康。腾讯和富士康以前都没有做过电动汽车方面的业务。不过Future Mobility的第三大股东——中国和谐新能源汽车控股有限公司却是中国国内一家知名的豪华汽车经销商。

Jacob will be joined at Future Mobility by Dirk Abendroth, who heads the i-Powertrain department and Henrik Wenders, a vice-president for product management.

除雅各布以外,宝马i-Powertrain部门的负责人德克•阿本德罗特、以及产品管理副总裁亨理克•温德斯,也将跳槽至和谐富腾。

They'll all be linking up again with Carsten Breitfeld, the former project manager for the i8, who was named CEO of Future Mobility in February.

这三位高管将在和谐富腾与他们的老同事毕福康"胜利会师"——毕福康曾担任i8电动车的项目经理,他已于今年2月被任命为和谐富腾的CEO。

If the story is confirmed, it's a huge statement of ambition by the Chinese groups, one that mirrors the ambitions of the country's government to cut road pollution as fast as possible and get ahead of the game in designing the auto of the future. Both Tencent and Foxconn have extremely deep pockets: Tencent has a market capitalization of over $200 billion, while Foxconn's is around $40 billion.

如果此事得到确认,那么,它将有力地说明这几家中资集团在电动汽车领域的雄心壮志。同时这也表明了中国政府尽快削减汽车尾气污染的决心,以及通过"弯道超车"抢占未来汽车设计的桥头堡的雄心。腾讯和富士康这两家公司都拥有极其雄厚的财力:腾讯的市值超过了2000亿美元,而富士康的市值也在400亿美元左右。

It also raises more questions, in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, about the ability of Germany's carmakers to meet the same challenges. BMW is widely acknowledged as being the most advanced of the major German carmakers as regards electric vehicles.

大众汽车的"排放门"事件刚刚过去没多久,此次宝马三名高管同时出走,令我们对德系厂商能否成功应对这类挑战产生了疑问。要知道,在电动汽车领域,宝马公司的技术在几家德系厂商中被公认为是最先进的。

Future Mobility intends to base its research and development in Shenzhen, but to have units in Europe and Silicon Valley to focus on powertrain issues and autonomous driving, respectively.

和谐富腾公司计划将其研发基地放在深圳,不过它在欧洲和硅谷也设有研发部门,分别负责解决动力问题和研发自动驾驶技术。

China is currently the world's second-largest market for electric vehicles, with just under 250,000 being sold last year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Thanks to a low base and a generous range of government subsidies, sales are growing exponentially, rising 450% in 2015.

中国目前已成为全球第二大电动汽车市场。据中国汽车工业协会统计,中国光是去年一年的电动汽车销量就已接近25万台。由于中国电动汽车的基数本来就比较低,加之政府又提供了慷慨的补贴,因此该国电动汽车的销量正呈现指数级的增长,光是2015年一年便增长了450%。

2016-06-22

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