Worst case scenario: the AM-RB 001 hypercar gets delayed.
The recent bloom of the electric car industry is more than just an emerging trend, it’s now become an inevitable reality. That’s why every automaker, both large and small, has begun to invest in batteries and electric motors. We recently heard that Chinese company LeEco, better known for its smartphones and televisions, has raised a billion dollars to build a Tesla Model S fighter dubbed the LeSEE. Now that the company seems to be having financial troubles, Aston Martin may be at risk according to Motoring.
The British automaker had been collaborating with the Chinese manufacturer to build electric cars that would fight the Tesla Model S and upcoming competitors like the Porsche Mission E. This car would be based off of the gorgeous four-door Rapide and be called the RapidE. While its starting price of over a quarter million dollars means that it wouldn’t be a volume seller, the RapidE would provide Aston Martin with a test bed for new technologies that are sure to become more prevalent in the coming years. For the automaker to move forward and continue its attempts to stay alive by taking advantage of the booming luxury market, Aston Martin is currently investing in new models, engines, and even in a hybrid hypercar.
The RapidE’s electric drivetrain was slated to make it into Aston Martin’s Tesla Model X fighter, the DBX. Since LeEco’s money problems are likely to impact its ability to develop EV technology, Aston Martin will need to look elsewhere for help. LeEco has also partnered with Faraday Future for autonomous technology, but that relationship may suffer as well. The problem lies in LeEco owner Jia Yueting’s misappropriation of cash. “We blindly sped ahead and our cash demands ballooned. We got over-extended in our global strategy. At the same time our capital and resources were in fact limited,” said Yueting in an email to his employees. To help, the billionaire owner has slashed his salary, but whether that tactic works remains to be seen.